Infection numbers spook investors and Kospi falls
Stocks ended their eight-session winning streak Tuesday as investors became risk-averse over a resurgence of the coronavirus. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 0.58 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,403.15.
Trading volume was moderate at about 715 million shares worth some 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 504 to 322.
Foreigners bought a net 209 billion won, while institutions sold a net 172 billion won. Individuals offloaded a net 33 billion won.
The Kospi fell back into negative terrain after opening a tad higher following an overnight Wall Street rally.
Investor sentiment worsened as the country's new Covid-19 infections bounced back into the triple digits, stoking fears that the pandemic may inflict more damage on the economy.
"Investors seem to have been spooked into selling mode after new Covid-19 infections topped 100," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics added 0.83 percent to 60,900 won, and chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.16 percent to 88,200 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.56 percent to 723,000 won, but Celltrion retreated 1.1 percent to 270,500 won.
Internet portal Naver rose 1.03 percent to 295,000 won, with its rival Kakao edging up 0.13 percent to 372,000 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem sank 4.17 percent to 644,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 1.25 percent to 445,500 won.
Hyundai Motor lost 0.56 percent to 179,000 won, and steelmaker Posco declined 0.97 percent to 205,000 won.
The Kosdaq fell 1.58 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 871.92.
The local currency closed at 1,147.1 won per dollar, up 0.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bonds, which move inversely to yields, finished mixed. The yield on three-year bonds remained unchanged as of yesterday at 0.925 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 0.4 basis points to 0.77 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]