Stocks inch down as U.S. inflation data rattle investors globally

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Stocks inch down as U.S. inflation data rattle investors globally

A screen at Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,924.92 points on Thursday, down 5.25 points, or 0.18 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

A screen at Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,924.92 points on Thursday, down 5.25 points, or 0.18 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

 
Stocks closed lower Thursday, taking a cue from the estimate-beating inflation data in the United States that fanned concerns about faster-than-expected rate hikes. The won rose against the dollar.
 
The benchmark Kospi retreated 5.25 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 2,924.92 points.
 
Trading volume was moderate at about 563 billion shares worth some 13.3 trillion won ($11.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 630 to 215.
 
Foreigners bought a net 88 billion won, while institutions sold 238 billion won. Retail investors purchased a net 141 billion won.
 
The Kospi retreated as U.S. consumer prices grew at the fastest pace since 1990.
 
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite plunged 1.66 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.66 percent amid worries the high price pressure may advance the Federal Reserve's timeline to raise its key rates.
 
"The [high U.S.] price index seems to have driven down the stock prices, but such impact was buffered in advance by China's [estimate-beating] price index that was released a day earlier," Samsung Securities analyst Jeong Myung-ji said.
 
In Seoul, tech, auto and bio stocks remained in negative territory.
 
Samsung Electronics lost 0.43 percent to 69,900 won, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.92 percent to 107,500 won.
 
Internet portal operator Naver fell 1.81 percent to 407,000 won, while Kakao rose 1.21 percent to 125,500 won.
 
Carmaker Hyundai Motor moved down 1.68 percent to 205,000 won, and LG Chem added 2.44 percent to 757,000 won.
 
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 0.12 percent to 819,000 won, and Celltrion edged down 0.7 percent to 212,500 won. 
  
Game publisher NCSoft soared 29.92 percent to 786,000 won, and Krafton jumped 11.46 percent to 540,000 won.
 
The Kosdaq gained 4.9 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 992.65. 
 
The local currency closed at 1,180.8 won against the dollar, down 0.1 won from the previous session's close.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 3.6 basis points to 1.912 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 11.5 basis points to 1.55 percent.
 

BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]
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