Seoul stocks extend losing streak as inflation concerns continue
Stocks extended their losing streak to a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday, as inflation woes at home and in the United States loomed heavily over the financial markets. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi declined 25.86 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 2,864.24 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 545 million shares worth some 9.9 trillion won ($8.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 726 to 171.
Institutions sold a net 227 billion won, while foreigners bought 5.1 billion won and retail investors purchased 208 billion won.
The market came off to a lackluster start amid continued jitters over the U.S. Federal Reserve's faster-than-anticipated tapering and rate hikes to tame inflation. Such concerns led to a steep increase in the 10-year Treasury yields in the U.S.
The Bank of Korea's rate hike last week also weighed on investor sentiment.
The IPO subscription event for LG Energy Solution, a two-day event that ends Wednesday, also drove investors to cash in on overvalued stocks to join the process.
"The yields of the U.S. bond futures steeply increased in over-the-counter trading, which seems to have pressured the local stocks," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.
The analyst also cited as another reason for the market decline the selling ahead of LG Energy Solution's planned IPO.
Most large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.65 percent to 77,000 won, and chipmaker SK hynix decreased 0.39 percent to 126,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.6 percent to 338,000 won, and chemical firm LG Chem fell 1.84 percent to 694,000 won.
Among gainers, battery maker Samsung SDI jumped 5.3 percent to 675,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,190.1 won against the dollar, down 2.6 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq lost 13.96 points, or 1.46 percent, to close at 943.94.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 2.1 basis points to 2.127 percent. As the U.S. bond markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond was not tallied.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]