Shares drop for a 5th day as vaccine worries persist
Stocks slumped for a fifth day on Monday, the first day of partially resumed short selling, as concerns of a virus flare-up and bio losses drove down the key stock index. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 20.66 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 3,127.2 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1 billion shares worth some 16.7 trillion won ($14.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 509 to 359.
Foreigners sold a net 448 billion won, while retail investors purchased 586 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 137 billion won, extending their selling streak to a ninth session.
The Kospi got off to a choppy start, as investors took to the sidelines on the first day of partially resumed short selling.
The key stock index fluctuated between gains and losses after a four-session losing streak, as investors weighed the outlook for listed firms.
In addition, lower-than-expected supply of the new coronavirus vaccine increased worries of the spreading virus outbreaks, analysts said.
"In (today's) Kospi market, positive impacts from the improved corporate earnings seem to have been offset by concerns that Covid-19 cases may surge again," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Chip and auto large caps closed higher in Seoul, while bio sector slumped.
Samsung Electronics added 0.25 percent to 81,700 won, and chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.73 percent to 131,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 3.86 percent to 773,000 won, with Celltrion dipping 6.2 percent to 249,500 won. Automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 2.83 percent to 218,000 won, and its sister company Kia added 4.03 percent to 80,100 won.
Internet portal Naver moved up 0.97 percent to 363,000 won, while chemical maker LG Chem retreated 2.68 percent 907,000 won. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI lost 2.29 percent to 639,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 21.64 points, or 2.20 percent to close at 961.81.
The local currency closed at 1,124.0 won to the dollar, up 11.7 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.9 basis point to 1.150 percent, and the yield on the benchmark ten-year government bond lost 1.7 basis point to 1.62 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]