Seoul stocks dip for third consecutive day
Stocks dipped for a third consecutive session Thursday as rising coronavirus infections and the deadlocked U.S. fiscal stimulus weighed heavily on local financial markets. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 19.27 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 2,361.21.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 12.8 trillion won ($11.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 583 to 279.
Foreigners sold a net 21 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 332 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 117 billion won.
Investor sentiment worsened as Korea's new coronavirus cases rebounded to over 100 due mainly to a new cluster infection in the southeastern port city of Busan.
The country added 110 Covid-19 cases, including 95 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,988, with the death toll reaching 439, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The losses came after a weak start, tracking overnight Wall Street retreats that stemmed from doubts that U.S. lawmakers will be able to break a deadlock on passing a stimulus package anytime soon.
"The delay in the U.S. fiscal stimulus and the resurgence of Covid-19 infections seem to have reduced local investors' appetite for risks, in addition to the political uncertainties from the U.S. presidential election," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics retreated 1.48 percent to 60,000 won, but chipmaker SK hynix added 0.69 percent to 87,100 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.42 percent to 704,000 won, and Celltrion shed 2.67 percent to 255,000 won.
Internet portal Naver dipped 2.01 percent to 292,500 won, with its rival Kakao down 1.76 percent to 362,000 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem climbed 1.43 percent to 637,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI declined 2.17 percent to 429,000 won.
Hyundai Motor fell 1.12 percent to 176,000 won, while steelmaker Posco advanced 2.24 percent to 205,000 won.
Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of K-pop phenomenon BTS, fell 4.44 percent to 258,000 won on the first day of trading after it jumped by the daily limit of 30 percent as soon as the market opened.
The Kosdaq fell 17.04 points, or 1.98 percent, to close at 844.44.
The local currency closed at 1,143.2 won per dollar, down 3.7 won from the previous session's close.
Bonds, which move inversely to yields, finished mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 2 basis points to 0.881 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds remained unchanged as of yesterday at 0.72 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]