Stocks retreat as tech takes a beating on pandemic concerns
Stocks fell more than 1 percent Tuesday as investors offloaded tech shares amid concerns about surging virus cases. The won sharply fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi lost 35.72 points, or 1.14 percent, to close at 3,097.92 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 881.95 million shares worth 14.38 trillion won ($12.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 711 to 193.
Institutions offloaded a net 555 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 560 billion won. Foreigners picked up a net 9 billion won.
The local index got off to a weak start, tracking overnight tech losses on Wall Street.
"The rise in U.S. Treasury yields hurt U.S. tech shares, which in turn, had an impact on the local market," Kim Seok-hwan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.
The continued surge in Korea's daily virus cases after an extended holiday last week also dampened investor sentiment. The daily figure remained in the 2,000s for a third day Tuesday.
Daishin Securities analyst Lee Kyoung-min added the local index was also weighed down by a string of investor concerns, including default risks surrounding Chinese property giant Evergrande as well as the lack of progress in U.S. debt ceiling talks.
Samsung Electronics dipped 1.8 percent to 76,300 won, and chipmaker SK hynix fell 0.96 percent to 103,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 2.61 percent to 392,500 won, and Kakao lost 2.08 percent to 117,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem rose 0.78 percent to 776,000 won, and battery maker SK Innovation leaped 3.78 percent to 261,000 won after the company said it would build three electric vehicle battery plants in the United States with Ford.
HYBE, the company behind global K-pop star BTS, added 1.98 percent to 283,500 won after it said the group will hold a series of concerts in the United States later this year, the septet's first live concerts since 2019.
The Kosdaq fell 22.31 points, or 2.16 percent, to close at 1,012.51.
The local currency closed at 1,184.4 won against the dollar, up 7.6 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 4.3 basis points to 1.609 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 3 basis points to 1.48 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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