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Seoul: Stocks end slightly lower on profit-booking; won weakens

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended marginally lower on Wednesday as investors booked profits from the recent rally. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield also fell.

The Kospi ended down 0.92 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 2,194.76.

The Kospi ended down slightly as domestic institutions sold more, said Bookook Securities analyst Lee Won.

Foreigners were seen buying the Kospi, especially tech-related equities due to the positive outlook on semiconductors in the coming year, the analyst added.

Nomura said in a report published on Tuesday there would be another super-cycle in the semiconductor industry between 2020 and 2021. It raised target prices for both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, while maintaining its buy ratings for the country's top 2 chipmakers.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed down 0.71 per cent after rising as much as 0.9 per cent. The stock has surged 45.5 per cent so far this year, compared with a 7.4 per cent rise in the broader market.

Foreigners were net buyers of 380.7 billion won (S$439.11 million) worth of shares on the main board.


The Kospi has risen 7.53 per cent so far this year, but gained 2.5 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 580.20 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 908, the number of advancing shares was 408.