As many await PCE data, Kospi continues on its torpid decline
Stocks closed a tad lower Thursday, as investors wait for key economic data from the United States later this week, which is widely seen as a gauge for a potential rate hike. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 2.92 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 3,165.51 points.
Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 19.9 trillion won ($17.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 496 to 360.
Foreigners sold a net 280 billion won, while retail investors bought 47 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 267 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a muted start as investor caution grew while waiting for the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is set to release the latest PCE on Friday, U.S. time.
Stock losses deepened as the Bank of Korea raised its growth outlook for 2021 to 4 percent, sharply up from the previously projected 3 percent, and also 3 percent in 2022.
The central bank froze the key interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent, but investor sentiment weakened over the central bank winding back their low interest rate policy earlier than expected.
The rebalancing of the Morgan Stanley Capital International index also led to a fall in market heavyweights.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics retreated 0.25 percent to 79,600 won, while Chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.03 percent to 125,500 won. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI lost 0.16 percent to 636,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver decreased 1.38 percent, while its rival Kakao gained 4.60 percent to 125,000 won. Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 2.16 percent to 817,000 won, and Celltrion fell 0.55 percent to 269,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.34 percent to 220,500 won, and its sister company Kia fell 0.62 percent to 80,800 won. Chemical firm LG Chem dipped 3.49 percent to 803,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 8.02 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 974.08.
The local currency closed at 1,118.1 won against the dollar, up 1.2 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 3.7 basis points to 1.124 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 3.4 basis points to 1.638 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]