Seoul stocks retreat as investors remain cautious
Stocks retreated Tuesday amid a lack of major market-moving events as investors assess weak U.S. jobs data and its impact on the Federal Reserve's timeline for tapering. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi decreased 15.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 3,187.42 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 745 million shares worth some 11.7 trillion won ($10.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 447 to 393.
Foreigners sold a net 330 billion won, and institutions offloaded a net 119 billion won, while retail investors bought 453 billion won.
The Kospi traded bearish in the absence of major events related to the Fed's tapering.
Overnight, the U.S. stock exchanges were closed for a holiday.
"The Kopsi has been fluctuating around the 3,200-point mark since the [U.S. August] jobs data was released, with investors keeping a close eye on the monetary policies in major economies," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics lost 1.55 percent to 76,100 won, and chipmaker SK hynix fell 1.42 percent to 104,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved down 2.09 percent to 444,500 won, and its rival Kakao fell 0.96 percent to 154,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics retreated 0.42 percent to 950,000 won, while Celltrion edged up 0.36 percent to 279,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem added 1.07 percent to 758,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 1.04 percent to 775,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.16 percent to 212,500 won, and its sister company Kia fell 0.23 percent to 86,000 won.
Kakao Bank plunged 5.68 percent to 73,000 won, and NCSoft fell 2.69 percent to 616,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 1.47 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 1,054.43.
The local currency closed at 1,157.8 won against the dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.4 basis point to 1.464 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 3.6 basis points to 1.32 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]