SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) — The South Korean benchmark stock index plunged below the 3,000-point threshold Friday on massive foreign dumping, largely generated by valuation concerns over local stocks and a liquidity squeeze in China. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 92.84 points, or 3.03 percent, to close at 2,976.21 points, registering the largest daily loss since Aug. 20 last year.
Trading volume was high at about 972 million shares worth some 23.8 trillion won (US$21.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 830 to 66.
Foreigners dumped a net 1.4 trillion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.7 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 255 billion won.
The KOSPI kicked off with mild gains after losing 4.4 percent in the past three sessions but then fell due to increased institutional and foreign selling.
“The U.S. Federal Reserve seems to have failed in delivering a clear (fiscal) signal to the stock markets, while investors are worried that China’s People’s Bank of China is giving a tapering signal,” Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Jae-sun said.
“Large caps made far more gains in South Korea compared with their global peers, including those of the emerging markets, and therefore came under stronger price adjustment,” he added.
Most large caps slumped in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 2.03 percent to 82,000 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix moving down 0.41 percent to 122,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics retreated 5.37 percent to 793,000 won, and Celltrion dipped 3.14 percent to 324,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem declined 2.24 percent to 917,000 won, and Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, fell 3.98 percent to 229,000 won.
Internet portal Naver slumped 3.38 percent to 343,000 won, and its rival Kakao lost 3.71 percent to 441,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,118.8 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.8 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.6 basis point to 0.971 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.9 basis point to 1.320 percent.