SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks snapped their seven-winning streak Wednesday on investors’ profit-taking rush, after the key index breached the 3,000-point mark for the first time in history. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 22.36 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 2,968.21 points.

Trading volume was exceptionally high at about 1.8 billion shares worth some 29.3 trillion won (US$27 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 458 to 397.

Institutions offloaded a net 1.4 trillion won, while retail investors purchased a net 2 trillion won. Foreigners sold a net 665 billion won.

Screens at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,968.21 points on Jan. 6, 2021, down 22.36 points, or 0.75 percent, from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI opened sharply higher amid optimism over an economic recovery, after closing at an all-time high for six sessions in a row.

But stocks traded increasingly choppy after peaking at 3,027.16 points at one point.

“The KOSPI exceeded the 3,000-point threshold on strong individual buying, but investors’ growing appetite to cash in the gains offset the earlier gains, along with concerns over the valuation pressure,” said Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Young-gon.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 2.03 percent to 82,200 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.38 percent to a record high 131,000 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics retreated 1.8 percent to 817,000 won, and Celltrion slid 0.28 percent to 353,500 won.

Internet portal operator Naver declined 0.85 percent to 290,000 won, but its rival Kakao climbed 0.64 percent to 395,500 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem fell 0.34 percent to 890,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dropped 0.87 percent to 680,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, shed 3.1 percent to 203,000 won, and top steelmaker POSCO moved down 1.75 percent to 280,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,085.6 won per dollar, up 2.0 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.7 basis points to 0.953 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 3.4 basis points to 1.322 percent.