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Kospi falls below 2,200, Kosdaq rises near 670 in 2019 finale

South Korea’s stock market continued its sluggish performance on Monday -- the last trading day of 2019 -- amid a lack of significant momentum.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,197.67 points, down 0.30 percent, or 6.54 points, from the previous session, according to stock market operator the Korea Exchange.

The figure however rose by 8.53 percent, or 187.57 points, from the first trading session of the year -- which closed at 2010. 


Korea Exchange Chairman Jung Ji-won (fourth from left, front row) and other officials celebrate the closing of the 2019’s stock trading day at the KRX headquarters in Busan on Monday. (KRX)
Korea Exchange Chairman Jung Ji-won (fourth from left, front row) and other officials celebrate the closing of the 2019’s stock trading day at the KRX headquarters in Busan on Monday. (KRX)

Korean shares opened nearly flat on the day as investors sat on the sidelines when they fluctuated but began declining from afternoon.

According to market watchers, this was largely due to net selling by foreign investors in information technology related large-cap stocks.

“The Kospi index did not show clear direction during the final session this year. Moreover, the pressure of excessive buying trend from previous sessions also attributed to the downturn today,” said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

The tech-laden secondary Kosdaq closed at 669.83 points, up 1.30 percent, or 8.59 points, from the previous session.

The index has slightly risen from the first session of the year, which marked 669.37 points. From the start of trading, the Kosdaq index has shown a steady rise.

“Due to the improvement in supply and demand of individual investors, along with expectations of a strong performance toward small cap stocks early next year, both small and mid-cap stocks on Kosdaq were strong,” said Choi Yoo-joon, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

The Korean won closed at 1,156.40 won against the greenback, sharply up 5.10 won from the previous session’s close.

The Korean capital market will be closed on Tuesday. It will reopen on Thursday at 10 a.m., an hour later than normal due to the stock market opening ceremony of 2020.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)


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