Kospi falls on profit-taking, Omicron worries
Shares closed lower Wednesday on profit-taking amid lingering concerns over the economic implications of the Omicron strain. The local currency rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi fell 26.95 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,993.29 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 536.6 million shares worth some 10.8 trillion won ($9 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 439 to 438.
Institutions sold a net 1.74 trillion won, and foreigners sold 127 billion won. Individuals purchased a net 1.84 trillion won.
Investors booked profits in profit-taking after recent gains on the main bourse, keeping the Kospi from finishing in positive territory, analysts said.
The main Kospi index rose 6.4 percent this month through Tuesday.
Tech and auto stocks were lead decliners.
Samsung Electronics fell 1.87 percent to 78,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix dipped 0.39 percent to 127,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver dropped 0.65 percent to 382,000 won, and Kakao rose 0.44 percent to 114,000 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor dropped 0.93 percent to 212,000 won, and its sister company Kia shed 1.3 percent to 83,400 won.
Korean Air Lines jumped 3.28 percent to 29,950 won and Asiana Airlines climbed 4.09 percent to 20,350 won.
Battery maker SK Innovation gained 5.75 percent to 239,000 won, and Samsung SDI increased 1.84 percent to 663,000 won. LG Chem fell 0.63 percent to 628,000 won.
Game publisher NCSoft gained 0.61 percent to 660,000 won, and Krafton went up 1.08 percent to 467,000 won. Netmarble lost 1.65 percent to close at 119,000 won.
Payment service provider Kakao Pay lost 2.75 percent to 176,500 won, and KakaoBank slipped 0.83 percent to 59,800 won.
The Kosdaq rose 0.61 points, 0.06 percent, to close at 1,028.05 points.
The local currency closed at 1,186.5 won against the dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 0.3 basis point to 1.783 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 0.7 basis point to 1.48 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]