Stocks fall for a second day as inflation concerns rise
Stocks slumped Tuesday for a second day amid lingering inflation concerns, with major tech and bio stocks coming under heavy selling pressure. The won fell against the dollar.
After veering in and out negative territory, the benchmark Kospi fell 9.66 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 3,070.09 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 2.2 billion shares worth some 17.3 trillion won ($15.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 563 to 300.
Foreigners sold a net 378 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 79 billion won. Institutions bought a net 300 billion won.
The local stock market remained in a tight range on strong foreign sell-offs, as expectations of a fast economic rebound raised inflation concerns in global markets, pushing up commodities and U.S. Treasury yields.
Overnight, the Nasdaq dipped 2.46 percent as tech stocks, sensitive to high inflation, retreated.
"The market is anticipating some positive guidance from [U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome] Powell," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said. "If Powell comments on the recent bond yields increase, it could calm the markets in the short run," he said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is to hold its monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics retreated 0.24 percent to 82,000 won, while chipmaker SK hynix gained 1.47 percent to 138,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver added 1.03 percent to 390,500 won, with its rival Kakao dipping 0.71 percent to 487,000 won.
The country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.24 percent to 244,500 won while steelmaker Posco advanced 4.29 percent to 279,500 won. Chemical firm LG Chem shed 3.38 percent to 885,000 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics dropped 2.56 percent to 760,000 won, and Celltrion dipped 4.36 percent to 296,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 17.69 points, or 1.85 percent to close at 936.60.
The local currency closed at 1,110.6 won against the dollar, up 0.2 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on the three-year bond added 0.3 basis points to close at 1.023 percent, and the yield on the 10-year bond gained 2.3 basis points to close at 1.36 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]