Seoul stocks continue slide as geopolitical tension mounts
Stocks slumped for the third consecutive session Tuesday amid uncertainties related to the longer-term U.S. Treasury yields and U.S.-China political ties. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 30.72 points, or 1.01 percent, to close at 3,004.74 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 15.9 trillion won ($14.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 653 to 216.
Foreigners sold a net 476 billion won, extending their selling streak to a third session, while retail investors purchased a net 1 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 541 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a strong start on overnight tech gains on Wall Street, briefly touching the 3,058.79-point ceiling, as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yields subsided below 1.7 percent.
But the stock index turned lower to losses late morning, tracking losses on the Chinese stock indices.
Stocks deepened losses following the news reports that the U.S., Canada, European Union and Britain launched sanctions against officials in China in protest of the communist state's alleged abuses in Xinjiang, western China.
"Investor wariness increased against China's potential retaliation against the Xinjiang-Uyghur human rights sanctions by the U.S. and other European countries," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics slipped 0.24 percent to 81,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 2.17 percent to 135,000 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem retreated 3.73 percent to 775,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI moved down 2.8 percent to 624,000 won. The country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.09 percent to 226,500 won.
Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged down 0.28 percent to 713,000 won, but Celltrion gained 1.21 percent to 292,500 won.
AhnLab, a software company founded by Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party, plunged 15.37 percent to 63,300 won after the news that Oh Se-hoon of the main opposition People Power Party beat Ahn and became the single opposition candidate for next month's Seoul mayoral by-election.
Giant Internet portal operator Naver dropped 2.65 percent to 386,000 won while its rival Kakao declined 0.71 percent to 490,500 won.
The Kosdaq dropped 9.07 points, or 0.95 percent to close at 946.31.
The local currency closed at 1,129.7 won against the dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on the three-year bond lost 0.1 basis points to close at 1.129 percent, and the yield on the 10-year bond dropped 2.9 basis points to close at 1.69 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [email@example.com]