Kospi falls for fourth straight day, off 1.75%
The benchmark Kospi index dropped 36.15 points, or 1.75 percent, to close at 2,027.15, extending its losing streak to four straight sessions.
Trading volume was moderate at 6.19 trillion won ($5.4 billion).
The local index started the day weak and further extended losses as overseas investors dumped large-cap stocks.
The closing price is the lowest since Jan. 2 of last year when the index stood at 2,026.16.
“The recent downturn in Korea and other major countries is attributable to the anticipated U.S. interest rate hike, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, prolonged global trade frictions and concerns of a global economic slowdown,” the country’s bourse operator said in a release earlier in the day amid rising concerns over volatility.
Foreign investors sold 177 billion won worth of local stocks more than they bought, while institutions picked up a net 103 billion won and individuals bought a net 59 billion won.
Market heavyweights were in negative terrain across the board.
Chemical shares led the drop, with industry leader LG Chem losing 4.57 percent to 324,000 won. Lotte Chemical dropped 4.63 percent to 268,000 won.
Naver declined 5.04 percent to 113,000 won, while Netmarble declined 7.83 percent to 100,000 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion retreated 3.59 percent to 228,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics was also down 4.86 percent to 372,000 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.82 percent to 108,000 won.
SK Hynix jumped 3.55 percent to end at 67,000 won.
Battery maker Samsung SDI rose 1.09 percent to close at 232,000 won after reporting that its third-quarter net profit increased 58.6 percent on year.
Samsung Electronics remained unchanged at 41,000 won.
Shares on the Kosdaq secondary board dropped more than those trading on the main market.
The tech and bio-heavy index fell 23.77 points, or 3.46 percent, to 663.07 despite a 3.3 percent rise in the U.S. Nasdaq.
The Korean won closed at 1,141.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.9 won from Thursday’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.4 basis points to 1.97 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds decreased 2.1 basis points to 2.25 percent.
BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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