Stocks drop as investors contemplate Evergrande situation
Stocks retreated Thursday after the three-day Chuseok holiday in the face of comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve's chief that tapering could start as early as November, as well as on growing concern over a possible default of a Chinese real estate developer. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi lost 12.93 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 3,127.58 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 612 million shares worth some 13.8 trillion won ($11.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 715 to 178.
Foreigners bought a net 559 billion won, while retail investors sold 310 billion won worth of stocks. Institutions offloaded a net 227 billion won.
Stocks dipped more than 1 percent early in the morning but pared earlier losses on foreign buying.
Investors digested news that the Fed could begin reducing its asset-buying program in November and finish the process by next year.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics gained 0.26 percent to 77,400 won, but chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.4 percent to 105,500 won.
Naver moved down 0.74 percent to 400,000 won, its rival Kakao fell 3.77 percent to 115,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics decreased 1.39 percent to 920,000 won, while Celltrion rose 3.27 percent to 284,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem soared 8.42 percent to 760,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.83 percent to 731,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.24 percent to 208,500 won, while Kia increased 0.12 percent to 84,200 won.
Kakao Bank lost 2.35 percent to 66,400 won.
Online game publisher NCSoft fell 0.51 percent to 584,000 won, and Netmarble dropped 0.82 percent to 121,000 won.
The Kosdaq fell 9.86 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 1,036.26.
The local currency closed at 1,175.5 won against the dollar, up 0.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 1.9 basis points to 1.556 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 1.4 basis points to 1.3 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [email@example.com]