Seoul stocks inch down as inflation concerns continue
Stocks retreated for a second straight day Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the increasing inflationary pressure. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi slumped 15.94 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 3,009.55 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 608 million shares worth some 12.2 trillion won ($10.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 661 to 210.
Foreigners sold a net 318 billion won worth of stocks, while retail investors bought 478 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 151 billion won worth of stocks.
After a muted opening, stocks fluctuated in a tight range amid the tussle between the expectations of strong quarterly gains and concerns over rising price pressure.
Stocks turned to losses toward the session's close, in the wake of reports that the Chinese government is pushing to curb its spiking coal price.
"The steep decrease in the coal production is likely to fall short of winter demand, raising worries that the energy crunch may increase the inflation pressure globally," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Samsung Electronics gained 0.86 percent to 70,700 won after the company reported record sales revenue in the third quarter, and chipmaker SK hynix surged 4.93 percent to 106,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver declined 0.36 percent to 413,000 won, and Kakao dropped 2.33 percent to 125,500 won. Kakao Bank jumped 4.19 percent to 64,600 won.
LG Chem jumped 3.03 percent to 850,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI lost 0.53 percent to 746,000 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.64 percent to 210,000 won, and its sister company Kia added 1.18 percent to 86,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics decreased 1.34 percent to 886,000 won, and Celltrion dropped 1.6 percent to 215,500 won.
The Kosdaq lost 8.82 points, or 0.87 percent, to close at 1,000.13.
The local currency closed at 1,169.7 won against the dollar, down 0.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 2.6 basis points to 2.013 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond shed 6.1 basis points to 1.54 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]