SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares dipped more than 1 percent Wednesday, as investors dumped market heavyweights following a plunge in the U.S. stock market. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 26.1 points, or 1.09 percent, to close at 2,375.81.
Trading volume was moderate at about 929 million shares worth some 15.2 trillion won (US$12.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 618 to 240.
Foreigners sold a net 117 billion won, extending the selling streak to a fourth session. Retail investors purchased a net 514 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 429 billion won.
Investor sentiment turned risk-averse, tracking steep falls in key U.S. stock indices. Tech shares led the drop, largely on account of rising valuation pressure.
“The recent plunges on Wall Street directed investor eyes to the (corporate) fundamentals, triggering a profit-taking rush,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite plummeted 465.44 points, or 4.11 percent, to 10,847.69, after dipping nearly 5 percent only two sessions ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.25 percent, with the S&P 500 down 2.78 percent.
Rising political tensions between the United States and China, South Korea’s two largest trade partners, fueled investor wariness.
Simultaneous expiration for futures and options, set for Thursday, also increased uncertainties, analysts said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed lower with tech and bio stocks stung most.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.51 percent to 58,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.64 percent to 77,300 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics dipped 1.94 percent to 759,000 won, and Celltrion sank 6.13 percent to 298,500 won.
LG Electronics spiked 5.13 percent to 90,200 won, after the firm announced a sales jump in electronic home appliances as more people stay and work at home.
Internet portal giant Naver fell 2.09 percent to 304,500 won, with its rival Kakao losing 1.54 percent to 384,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem dropped 1.41 percent to 699,000 won, with rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI down 1.38 percent to 429,500 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, slid 0.3 percent to 167,500 won, and top steelmaker POSCO shed 1.07 percent to 185,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,189.1 won per dollar, down 2.7 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.4 basis points to 0.915 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond lost 4.4 basis points to 1.19 percent.