Stocks drop as investors take some profits off the table
Stocks snapped a three-day winning streak Thursday as investors attempted to lock in profits from the recent gains. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi slipped 4.25 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 3,276.13 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 671 million shares worth some 11.7 trillion won ($10.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 518 to 308.
Foreigners bought a net 72 billion won, while retail investors sold 260 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 189 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a solid start on strong advances in bio heavyweights, as the country's daily new coronavirus cases spiked back to the 1,700s despite the toughest-ever virus restrictions.
The stock index turned choppy as bio and tech gains waned toward the session's close.
"Investors seem to have sold stocks to profit from the gains made in the past couple of days," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 1 percent to 912,000 won, while Celltrion slipped 0.19 percent to 269,000 won.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.97 percent to 82,100 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 0.83 percent to 120,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver climbed 2.19 percent to 442,500 won, while its rival Kakao edged down 0.33 percent to 149,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.89 percent to 223,000 won, and its sister company Kia fell 1.49 percent to 85,700 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem edged up 0.12 percent to 857,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 3.49 percent to 771,000 won. Steelmaker Posco fell 0.72 percent to 344,000 won.
Game publisher NCSoft rose 0.62 percent to 817,000 won, while Netmarble fell 0.73 percent to 136,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 11.61 points, or 1.11 percent, to close at 1,059.54.
The local currency closed at 1,143.7 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 lost 0.4 basis point to 1.414 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 0.9 basis point to 1.18 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]