Stocks fall for fourth day, slipping below 3,000
Stocks retreated for a fourth consecutive session Wednesday as concerns over resurgences in virus cases in Europe and the United States cast doubts over a prompt recovery from the pandemic. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 8.39 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 2,996.35 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 965 million shares worth some 13.1 trillion won ($11.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 430 to 423.
Foreigners sold a net 487 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 434 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 897 billion won.
The Kospi closed below the psychologically important 3,000-point threshold for the first time in two weeks, led by losses in auto and tech shares.
The index posted a weak performance despite an overnight decline in U.S. Treasury yields as investors remained wary of spikes in coronavirus cases in major economies, including Germany, France and Italy.
"Local stocks received downward pressure from the economic lockdown measures in Europe and the potential strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the European currency," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.98 percent to 81,000 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.11 percent to 133,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.16 percent to 784,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI added 1.76 percent to 635,000 won.
The country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor shed 2.43 percent to 221,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 0.42 percent to 716,000 won, and Celltrion climbed 2.56 percent to 300,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver advanced 0.26 percent to 387,000 won, with its rival Kakao moved up 0.31 percent to 492,000 won.
Online game maker NCSoft rose 0.54 percent to 936,000 won, while its rival Netmarble edged down 1.2 percent to 124,000 won.
The Kosdaq rose 7.51 points, 0.79 percent, to close at 953.82.
The local currency closed at 1,133.6 won against the dollar, up 3.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on the three-year bond lost 1.4 basis points to close at 1.115 percent, and the yield on the 10-year bond dropped 7 basis points to close at 1.62 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]