Stocks decline for a third day as taper concerns weigh
The stock market extended its losing streak to a third session Monday, weighed down by concerns of early post-pandemic inflation. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 12.12 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 3,144.3 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 581 million shares worth some 11.5 trillion won ($10.2 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 646 to 232.
Foreigners sold a net 235 billion won, while retail investors purchased 177 billion won. Institutions bought a net 50 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a weak start as accelerating inflation may sap demand for risky assets.
Stocks dropped in the wake of the Federal Reserve's most recent minutes, which flagged the possibility of discussing the right time for the tapering of its asset buying program last week.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the Fed might have to discuss the matter sooner than later.
"U.S. stocks retreated due to its tech losses, in spite of the strong economic data," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
"Investor sentiment seems to have weakened from concerns that the Fed may speed up its tapering move, in addition to the recent plunge in the cryptocurrency markets," he noted.
Tech and bio shares retreated in Seoul, while bank and telecommunications shares advanced.
Most large caps finished lower, with Samsung Electronics declining 0.5 percent to 79,700 won and chipmaker SK hynix decreasing 2.45 percent to 119,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver shed 1.25 percent to 355,500 won, and its rival Kakao lost 0.43 percent to 116,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.35 percent to 858,000 won, and Celltrion slumped 2.42 percent to 262,000 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem moved down 0.22 percent to 892,000 won, but automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.22 percent to 228,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 17.26 points, or 1.79 percent, to close at 948.37.
The local currency closed at 1,127.1 won against the dollar, up 0.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 2.1 basis points to 1.116 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 0.5 basis point to 1.61 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]