Stocks tumble, ending 5-session winning streak
Stocks tumbled by more than 1.6 percent on Tuesday, putting an end to a five-session winning streak on renewed concerns about the coronavirus. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar for the first time in six trading days.
The benchmark Kospi fell 44.51 points, or 1.62 percent, to close at 2,700.93.
Trading volume was high at about 1.4 billion shares worth some 16.9 trillion won ($15.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 567 to 277.
Foreigners sold a net 852 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.1 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 278 billion won.
The Kospi started weak after hitting an all-time high the previous day.
Investor sentiment turned risk-averse as the country’s daily new Covid-19 cases continued to hover around the 600-mark despite tightened social distancing.
“The local stock market seems to have been put under selling pressure amid a resurgence in virus cases,” said Lee Won, a researcher at Bookook Securities.
He added foreign selling increased ahead of the simultaneous expiration of stock future and options set for Thursday.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Samsung Electronics fell 1.65 percent to 71,700 won. Chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.54 percent to 115,000 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics sank 5.91 percent to 828,000 won and Celltrion plummeted 13.26 percent to 350,000 won after hitting an all-time high the previous day.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor dropped 3.62 percent to 186,500 won, and steelmaker Posco declined 1.67 percent to 265,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem lost 0.61 percent to 811,000 won while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI advanced 1.28 percent to 553,000 won.
Internet portal Naver fell 1.55 percent to 285,000 won with its rival Kakao down 2.73 percent to 374,500 won.
Korea’s tech-heavy Kosdaq index fell 20.04 points, or 2.16 percent, to close at 906.84. Uncertainties regarding coronavirus vaccines led foreign and institution investors to sell pharmaceutical shares, according to a brief on the local stock market provided by the Korea Exchange Tuesday.
Seegene, a local biotech company that makes coronavirus test kits, lost 1.34 percent to 206,500 won, while Genexine, which is working toward a Covid-19 vaccine, plunged by 14.27 percent to 131,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,085.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.3 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries fell 0.2 basis points to 0.959 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond dropped 0.8 basis points to 1.311 percent.
BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]