SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks slumped for a fourth consecutive session Tuesday amid growing concerns over post-pandemic inflation. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 19.99 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 2,976.12 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.5 billion shares worth around 18 trillion won (US$15.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 570 to 276.
Foreigners sold a net 642 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 351 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 293 billion won.
After a lackluster start, the KOSPI extended losses amid massive foreign selling, touching an intraday low of 2,929.36 points late morning.
“The hike in the U.S. and South Korean bond yields added downward pressure on the already feeble market,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped 2.41 percent, as yields of the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury rebounded and finished just shy of 1.6 percent.
In Seoul, financial and insurance stocks performed well, while chemical and tech stocks retreated.
Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.73 percent to 81,400 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.74 percent to 136,500 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem dipped 3.26 percent to 861,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI shed 2.15 percent to 636,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.43 percent to 231,500 won.
Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics moved down 1.29 percent to 687,000 won, while top internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.9 percent to 361,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,140.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.1 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 6.7 basis points to 1.206 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 9.5 basis points to 1.592 percent.