Stocks fall for a third day despite Fed's dovish comments
Stocks slumped for the third consecutive day Thursday as investors sold shares to lock in gains despite the U.S. Federal Reserve's soothing comments. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 7.4 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 3,174.07 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.2 billion shares worth some 18.8 trillion won ($17 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 472 to 381.
Foreigners sold a net 13 billion won, while retail investors purchased 34 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 15 billion won.
The index got off to a strong start as the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would not roll back its asset-buying programs despite the current "transitory" signs of inflation.
But the Kospi erased earlier gains and turned lower following U.S. President Joe Biden's congressional speech about increasing taxes on the rich.
"Local stocks advanced in the early morning after the FOMC's dovish signal but turned to losses in the absence of further positive events," said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.49 percent to 81,700 won and chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 130,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver shed 1.87 percent to 366,500 won, and its rival Kakao retreated 2.09 percent to 117,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 1.14 percent to 800,000 won, but Celltrion moved down 0.56 percent to 268,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem soared 6.85 percent on its record earnings jump to 951,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI added 0.75 percent to 672,000 won. SK Innovation gained 1.85 percent to 275,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.81 percent to 217,500 won, and its sister company Kia lost 2.58 percent to 79,300 won.
Online game maker NCSoft added 0.24 percent to 837,000 won, and Netmarble gained 0.38 percent to 132,500 won.
The Kosdaq lost 7.58 points, or 0.76 percent to close at 990.69.
The local currency closed at 1,108.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.7 basis points to 1.121 percent, and the yield on the benchmark ten-year government bond lost 0.6 basis points to 1.61 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]