Kospi falls for sixth straight trading session
Stocks retreated for the sixth straight session Thursday as foreign investors dumped a massive amount of chip stocks amid fears of falling prices for DRAMs. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 12.24 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 3,208.38 points.
Trading volume was high at about 635 billion shares worth some 20.2 trillion won ($17.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 452 to 404.
Foreigners sold a net 1.9 trillion won, the largest daily sell-off since May 12, while retail investors bought 1.9 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 30 billion won.
Stocks got off to a choppy start as investors went into wait-and-see mode on uncertainties over whether estimate-beating consumer prices in July would hasten the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering plan.
Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back slightly below 2,000 on Thursday, after soaring to a record high the previous day.
The Kospi deepened its losses in the afternoon due to foreign and institutional selling. Chipmakers extended their slump to the second consecutive day on concerns over a drop in chip prices.
"The market decline was led by strong foreign selling of Samsung Electronics and SK hynix shares," Mirae Asset analyst Park Gwang-nam said.
"More than 1.5 trillion won of sell-offs came from the electronic and electric sectors, specifically," he noted.
Samsung Electronics shed 1.91 percent to 77,000 won, and chipmaker SK hynix slumped 4.74 percent to 100,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.01 percent to 440,500 won, while its rival Kakao rose 2.43 percent to 147,500 won. Carmaker Hyundai Motor added 0.23 percent to 219,000 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem gained 3.17 percent to 878,000 won, but pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics moved down 0.31 percent to 972,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,161.2 won to the dollar, up 4.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.6 basis point to 1.413 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 2.0 basis points to 1.33 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]