The Korean won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 8.15 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,060.74. Trading volume was moderate at 463 million shares worth 4.5 trillion won ($3.8 billion).
News that Washington and Beijing are nearing a phase-one trade deal buoyed the stock markets in early morning trade, but the main index retreated as investors took a wait-and-see attitude toward progress in a yearlong trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
Trump said Wednesday that discussions with China are going very well, giving a boost to Asian stocks. But investors remain concerned about his earlier comments that he had “no deadline” and doesn’t mind waiting another year before striking a deal with China, analysts said. While attending a NATO summit in London Tuesday, Trump suggested “the idea of waiting until after the election,” which is set to take place in November.
Tensions between the United States and China resurfaced last week after Trump signed a legislation that supports Hong Kong protesters.
“Investors appear to be doubtful about reports that the two sides are set to strike a deal that will avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods due to kick in on Dec. 15,” NH Securities analyst Noh Dong-kil said.
Foreigners continued to sell local stocks for a 21st consecutive session. Foreigners and institutions sold a combined 93 billion won worth of stocks, exceeding individuals’ stock purchases worth 59 billion won.
Samsung Electronics rose 0.1 percent to 49,500 won, SK Hynix climbed 1.4 percent to 78,800 won, and Posco was up 0.9 percent to 229,000 won.
Among decliners, Korea Electric Power fell 1.9 percent to 28,700 won, Hyundai Motor declined 3.3 percent to 118,000 won, and Amorepacific was down 2.4 percent to 186,000 won. Kakao also slid 4.17 percent to 149,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,190.20 won against the dollar, down 4.10 won from the previous session’s close.
The secondary Kosdaq lost 7.67 points, or 1.23 percent, to close at 617.60.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.7 basis points to 1.423 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond climbed 1.3 basis points to 1.493 percent.
BY JIN MIN-JI, YONHAP [[email protected]]
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