SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks fell for the second consecutive session Friday as investors were disappointed by the absence of comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve to help stave off inflation concerns. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 17.23 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 3,026.26 points.
The KOSPI touched its daily low of 2,982.45 points due to speculation of post-pandemic inflation, with yields of the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury having surged above the 1.5-percent threshold.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.2 billion shares worth some 16.5 trillion won (US$14.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 565 to 288.
Foreigners sold a net 369 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.2 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 805 billion won.
Tech stocks, sensitive to high inflation, led the market decline, while insurance and financial shares gained.
“The U.S. bond yield hike and the Chinese liquidity squeeze are the two big risks for the local stock market,” Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.36 percent to 82,100 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.41 percent to 140,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver dipped 3.58 percent to 377,500 won, with its rival Kakao moving down 2.28 percent to 471,000 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics declined 3.88 percent to 719,000 won, and Celltrion retreated 1.63 percent to 301,500 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem jumped 4.51 percent to 904,000 won, while top automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 235,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,126.1 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 3.6 basis points to 1.066 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 1.6 basis points to 1.438 percent.