Kospi drops as fears of a second wave of coronavirus grow
The Kospi fell 14.59 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 2,126.73. Trading volume was moderate at about 779 million shares worth some 9.9 trillion won ($8.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 610 to 252.
Foreigners sold a net 251 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 432 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 197 billion won.
The drop followed recent spikes in the number of new infections.
"The fears of resurgence in Covid-19 infections in the United States seem to have increased [investors'] appetite for selling," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Investor sentiment worsened as the World Health Organization reported on Sunday (Geneva time) that there had been 183,020 new infections globally in the preceding 24 hours, the largest single-day hike in coronavirus cases.
Korea added 67 new cases Saturday, the highest in 23 days, and 48 new infections Sunday, raising the accumulative total to 12,421.
The country's daily tally sharply dropped to a nearly one-month low of 17 on Monday. Investors continued to remain cautious amid signs of slowing exports.
Most large caps traded lower, but stocks related to untact — a portmanteau of the prefix “un” and contact, meaning “no contact” — businesses made a bullish run.
Naver spiked 8.22 percent to 270,000 won, with Kakao soaring 2.98 percent to 274,000 won.
Samsung Electronics lost 1.70 percent to 52,000 won while chipmaker SK hynix dipped 0.59 percent to 84,900 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics slipped 1 percent to 793,000 won, and chemical maker LG Chem fell 1.17 percent to 506,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,215.80 won against the dollar, up 6.20 won from the previous session's close.
The secondary Kosdaq was up 9.61 points, or 1.30 percent, to close at 751.64.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.4 basis points to 0.847 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond lost 0.9 basis points to reach 0.69 percent.
BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [email@example.com]