Stocks decline 3.5 percent as global market rout continues
Stocks tumbled more than 3 percent to extend their losing streak to a fifth consecutive day Thursday as investor sentiment was dented by the hawkish stance of the Federal Reserve and LG Energy Solution's steep fall on its market debut. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi slumped 94.75 points, or 3.5 percent, to close at 2,614.49 points. The reading marks the lowest closing in 14 months since 2,591.34 points on Nov. 30, 2020.
Trading volume was high at about 478 million shares worth some 20.3 trillion won ($16.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 856 to 61.
Foreigners dumped a net 1.6 trillion won and retail investors offloaded 168 billion won, while institutions bought 1.8 trillion won.
Stocks came off to a weak start as investors digest the U.S. central bank chief's signaled rate hikes in March. Escalating Russia-Ukraine political tensions also sapped investor appetite for risky assets.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite inched up 0.02 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.38 percent.
"The Fed's continued hawkish comments seem to have further sapped the investor appetite for risky assets," Cape Investment & Securities researcher Na Jeong-hwan said.
LG Energy Solution, a newcomer on the market, closed at 505,000 won, down 15.41 percent from its opening price of 597,000 won but still higher than the IPO price of 300,000 won.
After the market debut, LG Energy Solution emerged as the country's second most-valued firm.
Tech and other market heavyweights closed in negative territory.
Samsung Electronics lost 2.73 percent to 71,300 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 3.4 percent to 113,500 won.
Samsung Biologics shed 5.94 percent to 712,000 won, and LG Chem plunged 8.13 percent to 610,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,202.8 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds rose 6.1 basis points to 2.217 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 9.3 basis points to 1.86 percent.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]