Kospi plunges 4.75% on fears of a second wave
Stocks sank almost 5 percent amid rising concerns of a second wave of the coronavirus, extending their losing streak to a third consecutive session. The won fell sharply against the dollar.
After a choppy session, the benchmark Kospi closed at 2,031.04, down 101.26 points, or 4.75 percent, the sharpest fall since March 23. Trading volume was high at about 1.06 billion shares worth some 18.02 trillion won ($14.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 837 to 55.
Individuals raked in a net 1.24 trillion won, while foreigners sold off a net 474.4 billion won, extending their selling streak to a fifth session. Institutions offloaded a net 764.2 billion won.
The plunge in the main index came amid rising fears of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the wake of the global economic reopening.
"Investor sentiment seems to have worsened over concerns of a second wave of Covid-19, particularly in the U.S. and China," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Securities.
The number of new cases is on a decline in New York, but it is rising in some 20 other states, including Florida, analysts said.
The United States is one of Korea's largest trade partners, along with China.
Most large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics tumbled 4.59 percent, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 3.76 percent.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics advanced 0.37 percent, while automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 6.28 percent.
Share prices of refineries were in negative territory, despite oil prices slightly recovering from an all-time low in April. SK Innovation shed 7.39 percent to close at 106,500 won and S-Oil inched down 4.49 percent reaching 66,000 won.
Stocks of companies in the defense industry added gains due to growing tensions between the two Koreas. Hanwha Aerospace added 6.73 percent closing at 26,150 won. LIG Nex1, a local manufacturer of defense technologies, inched up 3.82 percent reaching 33,950 won.
The secondary Kosdaq dipped 52.91 points or 7.09 percent climbing down to 693.15.
The local currency was trading at 1,216.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 12.20 won from the previous session's close.
BY KANG JAE-EUN, YONHAP [email@example.com]