Roundup: S. Korean shares fall after foreigners end buying spree

SEOUL, (PNA/Xinhua) — South Korean shares fell on Friday as foreign investors turned into net sellers for the first time in 41 sessions, ending their record-breaking buying trend.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 12. 3 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 2,034.39. Trading volume stood at 230.75 million shares, worth 3.96 trillion won (3.73 billion U.S. dollars).

Foreigners were net sellers, ending their 40-day winning streak, but their sales volume stood only at 2.9 billion won. Institutional investors sold stocks worth 169.8 billion won, but retail investors purchased a net 182.7 billion won worth of shares, limiting the KOSPI’s further decline.

On the economic front, South Korea’s real GDP increased 1.1 percent in the third quarter from three months earlier, staying at the identical level of 1.1 percent tallied in the prior quarter. It was the highest since 1.3 percent tallied in the first quarter of 2011.

The GDP growth stayed below 1 percent for eight straight quarters, before jumping to 1.1 percent in the second quarter and hovering at the same level in the third quarter.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics closed unchanged at 1,449, 000 won as their record-breaking earnings for the third quarter were already priced in. Samsung’s operating profit jumped 26 percent from a year earlier to 10.16 trillion won (9.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter, topping the prior high of a 9.53 trillion won profit tallied in the prior quarter.

Memory chip giant SK Hynix declined 1.5 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem sank 2.9 percent. The world’s largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped 5.1 percent, and the nation’s biggest web search engine NAVER slid 1.8 percent.

Auto shares gained ground. Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 2 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors added 0.5 percent. The nation’s largest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis jumped 3.9 percent.

The South Korean currency finished at 1,061.8 won against the greenback, down 0.8 won from Thursday’s close.

Bond prices ended flat. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.80 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds finished steady at 3.37 percent.