Stocks close slightly lower amid inflation woes
Stocks closed slightly lower on Monday as investors took to the sidelines amid inflation woes and concerns that the Fed may raise rates at a faster and stronger-than-expected pace. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi inched down 2.85 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,693.21.
Trading volume was moderate at around 1.1 billion shares worth some 8.9 trillion won ($7.2 billion), with gainers slightly outnumbering losers 423 to 417.
Foreigners and institutional investors offloaded a net 98.7 billion won and 16.3 billion won, respectively, while retail investors picked up shares worth a net 102.4 billion won.
There were also concerns over a slowdown in China.
On Friday, China's central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions by 0.25 percentage points to buffer a slowdown stemming from virus restrictions.
On Monday, the world's second biggest economy reported that its economy expanded at a slower than expected clip of 4.8 percent in the first quarter.
"Various uncertainties, such as rising U.S. treasury yields, that are reflected by tightening Fed measures have limited the Kospi's rise," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Among gainers, Samsung Electronics inched up 0.15 percent to close at 66,800 won after opening lower. The company dipped to a 52-week low in the previous session.
Chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.93 percent to close at 109,000 won. Automaker Hyundai Motor went up 0.85 percent to 178,500, and its affiliate Kia increased 1.96 percent to 78,200 won.
In contrast, battery maker LG Energy Solution declined 0.46 percent to 433,000 won and pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.36 percent to 832,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,234.4 won against the dollar, up 4.8 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq retreated 6.21 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 918.23 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds climbed 4.4 basis points to 2.985 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond was not tallied as the U.S. market was closed on Good Friday.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]