Stocks fall for fourth straight session as Covid worries return

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Stocks fall for fourth straight session as Covid worries return

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 3,243.19 points on Tuesday, down 17.23 points, or 0.53 percent, from the previous trading day. [NEWS1]

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 3,243.19 points on Tuesday, down 17.23 points, or 0.53 percent, from the previous trading day. [NEWS1]

 
Stocks retreated for the fourth straight session Tuesday, as concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus turned investors risk-averse. The won fell against the dollar.
 
The benchmark Kospi slumped 17.23 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 3,243.19 points.
 
Trading volume was high at about 719 million shares worth some 21.4 trillion won ($18.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 647 to 214.
 
Foreigners sold a net 638 billion won, while retail investors bought 1.54 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 383 billion won.
 
Stocks started weak, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street from concerns that the highly contagious Delta variant may hamper the global economic recovery.
 
Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to above 1,500 on Tuesday, as the nationwide resurgence of Covid-19 cases continued during the summer vacation season.
 
"Spreading cases of Delta variants raised oil prices and pulled down stock prices, while investors took to the sidelines ahead of the upcoming release of U.S. inflation data this week," Kiwoom Securities analyst Han ji-young said.
 
The U.S. consumer price index for July, set to be released Wednesday, is expected to be one of the key gauges on how the Fed will taper its accommodative policies.
 
In Seoul, bio stocks advanced, while tech and financial caps slumped.
 
Samsung Electronics shed 1.6 percent to 80,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 3.02 percent to 112,500 won.
 
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 4.18 percent to 947,000 won, with Celltrion climbing 1.5 percent to 270,000 won.
 
KakaoBank tumbled 9.04 percent to 71,400 won on profit-taking on its third day of trading, but game developer Krafton gained 1.23 percent to 454,000 won on its stock market debut.
 
Internet portal giant Naver slipped 0.22 percent to 446,500 won, and carmaker Hyundai Motor moved down 0.9 percent to 219,000 won.
 
The Kosdaq lost 7.93 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 1,052.07. 
 
The local currency closed at 1,149.8 won to the dollar, up 5.5 won from the previous session's close.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 0.3 basis point to 1.433 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 2.0 basis points to 1.32 percent.
 

BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]
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