Kospi tumbles as technology stocks sell off
Stocks tumbled Tuesday, led by technology stock sell-offs, as investor sentiment worsened over inflation woes. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 39.87 points, or 1.23 percent, to close at 3,209.43 points.
Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 21.2 trillion won ($18.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 447 to 419.
Foreigners sold a net 2.2 trillion won, and retail investors purchased 3.6 trillion won, both the highest daily transactions since Feb. 26. Institutions offloaded a net 1.4 trillion won.
Stock prices dipped after the stock index's four-session winning streak that had stemmed from the eased tapering jitters on Wall Street.
Spiking commodity prices reignited inflation concerns, driving down the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite by 2.55 percent overnight. The Dow Industrial Average and the S&P 500 retreated 0.1 percent and 1.04 percent, respectively.
After falling through the 3,200-point mark, the Kospi erased a part of its earlier losses in the afternoon.
"[Stocks partly rebounded] with investors betting on the U.S. economic recovery and a slow tapering," Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan said.
Samsung Electronics shed 2.4 percent to 81,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix tumbled 5.38 percent to 123,000 won.
Internet portal Naver declined 3.59 percent to 349,000 won, and its rival Kakao lost 1.29 percent to 114,500 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.31 percent to 226,500 won, and its sister company Kia shed 1.93 percent to 81,400 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem edged down 0.11 percent to 911,000 won. Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.12 percent to 817,000 won, and Celltrion decreased 1.64 percent to 270,500 won. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI lost 1.69 percent to 641,000 won.
Steelmaker Posco advanced 0.61 percent to 409,500 won, and telecommunications service provider SK Telecom added 0.31 percent to 319,500 won.
The Kosdaq lost 14.19 points, or 1.43 percent, to close at 978.61.
The local currency closed at 1,119.6 won to the dollar, up 5.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 0.9 basis points to 1.128 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 2.6 basis points to 1.60 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]