Stocks dip ahead of central bank monetary policy meeting

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Stocks dip ahead of central bank monetary policy meeting

A screen at Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,994.29 points on Wednesday, down 3.04 points, or 0.1 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

A screen at Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,994.29 points on Wednesday, down 3.04 points, or 0.1 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

 
Stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the central bank's monetary policy meeting. The won rose against the dollar.
 
The benchmark Kospi slipped 3.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 2,994.29 points.
 
Trading volume was moderate at about 540 million shares worth some 10.7 trillion won ($9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 477 to 373.
 
Institutions sold a net 592 billion won, while foreigners sold 317 billion won and retail investors purchased 240 billion won.
 
The key stock index started strong on bank and insurance share gains, backed by expectations that the Bank of Korea might raise the key interest rate Thursday.
 
But stocks lost ground as tech and bio heavyweights turned to losses amid institutional sell-offs.
 
"The [rise in] U.S. Treasury yields seems to have driven up certain sectors, such as energy and banking, and tomorrow's monetary policy meeting also kept investors from making bold transactions," said Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Sae-hun.
 
Samsung Electronics dropped 0.66 percent to 74,800 won, while chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.42 percent to 119,500 won.
 
Internet portal operator Naver moved down 1.25 percent to 395,000 won, with its rival Kakao closing flat at 124,500 won.  
 
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 0.7 percent to 849,000 won, and Celltrion edged down 0.24 percent to 211,000 won.  
 
LG Chem added 0.95 percent to 747,000 won, and battery maker SK Innovation slipped 0.23 percent to 219,000 won.  
 
Game publisher NCSoft added 0.28 percent to 710,000 won, and Netmarble dropped 0.81 percent to 122,000 won.  
 
Kakao Bank lost 0.31 percent to 64,700 won, but payment service provider Kakao Pay jumped 3.39 percent to 183,000 won.
 
The Kosdaq added 6.41 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 1,020.13.
 
The local currency closed at 1,186.5 won against the dollar, down 3.2 won from the previous session's close.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 1.9 basis points to 2.013 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 4.3 basis points to 1.67 percent.

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