Stocks retreat as investors remain cautious
Stocks retreated nearly 1 percent Monday as investors remain cautious about the local resurgence of the new coronavirus and uncertainties from China's clampdown on tech firms. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 29.47 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 3,224.95 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 813 million shares worth some 12 trillion won ($10.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 662 to 212.
Foreigners sold a net 375 billion won, while retail investors bought 720 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 337 billion won.
Stocks retreated after a two-day gain, as the spiking virus cases sapped demand for risky assets.
Losses deepened in the afternoon, tracking a tech plunge in Hong Kong following China's decision to reform its education tech industry and property market.
"Investors seem to be risk-averse ahead of the release of the U.S. GDP and the Fed meeting, with China's tech reform issue delivering a negative impact on the local stocks prices," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.63 percent to 78,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.27 percent to 117,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.11 percent to 894,000 won, while Celltrion dropped 1.68 percent to 264,000 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor moved down 0.44 percent to 224,500 won, and its sister company Kia shed 0.58 percent to 85,900 won.
Internet portal operator Naver closed unchanged at 452,000 won, and its rival Kakao fell 1.34 percent to 147,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem declined 1.33 percent to 817,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI shed 1.86 percent to 737,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 7.87 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 1,047.63.
The local currency closed at 1,155 won to the dollar, up 4.2 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 2.4 basis points to 1.370 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 0.4 basis point to 1.27 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]