SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) — The South Korean stock market ended its three-day winning streak Wednesday amid strong foreign and institutional selling that stemmed from concerns over a U.S. yield hike. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 29.52 points, or 0.93 percent, to close at 3,133.73 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.8 billion shares worth some 16.6 trillion won (US$15 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 422 to 417.
Foreigners sold a net 509 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 1.3 trillion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.8 trillion won.’
Most large caps fell after a lackluster start, with the KOSPI bottoming out at 3,115.48 in the morning.
The KOSPI’s fall came along with losses by global peers, taking a cue from the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasuries that plunged to about 1.3 percent after hitting the highest in 12 months, analysts said. The U.S. yield hike decreased investors’ appetite for risk assets globally, they said.
“The local stock market was driven down (from the start) by foreign selling of futures and was affected by the rising U.S. bond yields that increased inflation worries,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 2 percent to 83,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.89 percent to 130,000 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics retreated 1.26 percent to 786,000 won, and Celltrion declined 1.08 percent to 321,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver moved down 0.51 percent to 392,000 won, with its rival Kakao down 0.97 percent to 509,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem fell 2.15 percent to 957,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI added 0.25 percent to 805,000 won. Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, declined 1.62 percent to 243,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,107.5 won per dollar, down 7.4 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.2 basis point to 0.986 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.7 basis point to 1.344 percent.