SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks slumped for the fourth consecutive day Friday as investors remained concerned over coronavirus situation and the upcoming lifting of a ban on short selling. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 26.21 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 3,147.86 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 18.7 trillion won (US$16.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 534 to 339.
Foreigners offloaded a net 556 billion won, extending their selling streak to a fourth session, while retail investors purchased 791 billion won. Institutions sold a net 201 billion won.
Stocks got off to a muted start as the country’s social distancing scheme was extended by three more weeks ahead of holidays next month.
Foreign and institutional selling increased as the U.S. economy expanded at an estimate-beating 6.4 percent, spurring concerns of inflation.
“The fast-growing U.S. economy may strengthen the dollar currency and increase foreign sell-offs in the local stock markets,” said Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan.
The lifting of a ban on stock short selling also raised uncertainties. The South Korean bourse operator said it will lift the ban on large caps first, starting with the KOSPI 200 and KOSDAQ 150 stocks.
Most large caps closed in negative terrain, led by the steel and auto sectors.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics slipped 0.24 percent to 81,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.54 percent to 128,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver moved down 1.91 percent to 359,500 won, with its rival Kakao decreasing 2.99 percent to 113,500 won.
Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 2.53 percent to 212,000 won, and giant chemical maker LG Chem retreated 2 percent to 932,000 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics advanced 0.5 percent to 804,000 won, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI lost 2.68 percent to 654,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,112.3 won to the U.S. dollar, down 4.1 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 2.0 basis points to 1.141 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 2.9 basis points to 1.630 percent.