Kospi shrinks for third session as punters wait and see
Stocks retreated for a third consecutive session Tuesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi lost 31.71 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 2,987.95 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 566 million shares worth some 9.2 trillion won ($7.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 574 to 284.
Foreigners sold a net 361 billion won and institutions offloaded 199 billion won. Retail investors bought 513 billion won.
The Kospi dropped below the 3,000-point level as investors weighed the possibility of the Fed quickening its stimulus withdrawal and making hawkish signals about its key interest rate.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 1.39 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 0.89 percent.
"Most sectors, except for some pharmaceuticals, retreated over investors' wariness against the FOMC [meeting results]," Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Sae-hun said.
"It is likely that the investors would take a wait-and-see mode until the FOMC uncertainties are resolved," he added.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Samsung Electronics added 0.26 percent to 77,000 won, while chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.41 percent to 121,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver edged up 0.38 percent to 392,000 won, and Kakao fell 1.25 percent to 118,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 2.06 percent to 890,000 won, with Celltrion moving up 0.49 percent to 206,000 won.
LG Chem slumped 5.01 percent to 701,000 won, and battery maker SK Innovation dropped 2.31 percent to 211,500 won.
Payment service Kakao Pay dipped 6.05 percent to 178,500 won, and KakaoBank fell 0.63 percent to 63,000 won.
The Kosdaq lost 3.15 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 1,002.81.
The local currency closed at 1,182.6 won against the dollar, up 1.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 1.1 basis points to 1.783 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 7.2 basis points to 1.41 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]