Two days of gains end with Kospi falling 0.2%
Stocks ended a two-day winning streak Thursday as investors weighed a fresh spike in global oil prices and lingering geopolitical concerns surrounding Ukraine. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi shed 5.39 points, or 0.20 percent, to close at 2,729.66 points.
Trading volume was moderate at 928 million shares worth some 11 trillion won ($9.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 479 to 361.
Individual investors bought a net 682 billion won worth of stock. Foreigners and institutions dumped shares worth 474 billion won and 223 billion won, respectively.
"Looming additional sanctions by the U.S. against Russia and more hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials on rate hikes have affected investor sentiment. But part of those issues have already been reflected to limit the fall," Samsung Securities analyst Kim Yong-koo said.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.99 percent to 69,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix tumbled 2.43 percent to 120,500 won.
Samsung Biologics skidded 1.32 percent to 824,000 won, and Celltrion declined 0.88 percent to 168,000 won. SK Bioscience inched up 0.32 percent to 155,500 won.
Steelmaker Posco Holdings decreased 0.82 percent to 304,000 won on profit-taking.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor closed flat at 176,000 won, and its affiliate Kia climbed 0.42 percent to 72,100 won.
Naver went up 1.59 percent to 340,000 won, while Kakao dipped 1.41 percent to 105,000 won.
Battery maker LG Energy Solution added 0.25 percent to 408,000 won, and LG Chem spiked 4.53 percent to 531,000 won. SK Innovation rose 0.48 percent to 211,500 won, and S-Oil surged 1.34 percent to 90,600 won.
KB Financial Group advanced 0.49 percent to 61,400 won.
The local currency closed at 1,218.80 won against the dollar, up 5.0 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq gained 1.18 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 931.75 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 2.6 basis points to 2.453 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond declined 8.9 basis points to 2.29 percent.
BY YONHAP, SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]