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Kospi slides to largest daily loss in over year on foreign selling spree

South Korea’s stock markets tumbled Friday, with its top-tier Kospi market taking its largest daily loss in a year.

The Kospi closed at 2,400.99 on Friday, down 1.73 percent from Thursday. The main bourse index tumbled by the largest margin since July 6, 2016, which saw a 1.85 percent Kospi loss. It also marked the largest drop in 2017, following 1.14 percent slide in March 3.

During late afternoon trade, the Kospi fell below the 2,400 mark at around 2:40 p.m. The index has closed above 2,400 since July 13.

Losers outnumbered winners 627 to 187. Among the losers, Kospi-listed tech giants plunged overall. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics’ ordinary shares and preferred shares fell 4.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. The nation’s largest semiconductor maker SK hynix fell 5.6 percent and web portal operator Naver shed 3.2 percent.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
A foreign selling spree Friday led the loss. Foreign investors net sold stocks worth 563.3 billion won ($512.8 million) Friday, marking the largest in nearly two years after offshore net sales reached 729.1 billion won on Aug. 24, 2015.

The selling trend Friday outsized the net purchase of individual buyers and institutional buyers at 80.4 billion won and 462.1 billion won each.

The foreign-driven selling trend lasted throughout the whole week, resulting in 1.07 trillion won of offshore net sales from Monday to Thursday.

The second-tier Kosdaq index was down 2.03 percent at its closing at 652.95, with foreign and institutional buyers net selling 90 billion won and 103.1 billion won in stocks, respectively.

The downturn came after a downbeat performance in US tech firms and banks on Wall Street on Thursday, triggering slumps in the broad-based S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which fell 0.1 percent and 0.63 percent, respectively.

Stocks in South Korean markets are prone to “widening volatility” losses seen by global tech firms, wrote Seo Sang-young of Kiwoom Securities. But he added the drop would be “transient,” citing ongoing the upbeat forecast in exports.

The local currency weakened by 9.3 won and traded at 1,122.1 won against the dollar at the close of Friday’s session.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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