Seoul stocks inch down amid concerns of U.S. tapering
Seoul Stocks retreated Wednesday on worries rising long-term bond yields in the United States could push the Federal Reserve to speed up tapering. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi declined 35.27 points, or 1.18 percent, to close at 2,953.97 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 774 million shares worth some 14.6 trillion won ($12.2 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 554 to 319.
Institutions dumped a net 1.3 trillion won, while foreigners bought 32 billion won and retail investors purchased 1.3 trillion won.
Trading opened weak on declines in tech, tracking overnight tech losses on Wall Street.
A continued rise in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yields pulled down the tech-laden Nasdaq by 1.33 percent, reminding investors of the U.S. Fed's imminent rate hikes.
"The local stock market is pressured and influenced by the U.S. bond yields [in today's session]," said NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics lost 1.65 percent to 77,400 won, and chipmaker SK hynix decreased 2.33 percent to 125,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 2.87 percent to 355,000 won, with Kakao slumping 5.38 percent to 105,500 won.
Game publisher NCSoft lost 4.87 percent to 625,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 3.04 percent to 861,000 won, and Celltrion fell 3.60 percent to 187,500 won. SK Bioscience lost 3.13 percent to 216,500 won.
Among gainers, carmaker Hyundai Motor inched up 1.67 percent to 213,500 won, and its sister company Kia gained 2.87 percent to 85,900 won.
Electric car battery maker LG Chem jumped 3.11 percent to 664,000 won, while SK Innovation slipped 0.99 percent to 252,000 won.
The Kosdaq fell 22.04 points, or 2.14 percent, to close at 1,009.62.
The local currency closed at 1,196.9 won against the dollar, up 2.8 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 4.8 basis points to 1.913 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 2.1 basis points to 1.65 percent.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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