Stocks fall to 17-month low over worries of global economic slowdown
Stocks fell to about a 17-month low Monday on concerns over a global economic slowdown amid the U.S. central bank's monetary tightening and the prolonged lockdowns of major Chinese cities. The local currency weakened the most against the dollar in more than two years.
The Kospi lost 33.70 points, or 1.27 percent, to close at 2,610.81, extending losses for the fifth consecutive session. It is the lowest figure since November 30, when the Kospi closed at 2,591.34.
Trading volume was moderate at 870.64 million shares worth 9.06 trillion won ($7.11 billion), with decliners far outpacing gainers 816 to 88.
Foreign investors and institutions sold a net 228.5 billion won and 143.5 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 339.5 billion won.
"Investors remain worried about high inflation and the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening, which could slow down the global economy," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.
Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point and indicated more 50-basis point rate hikes to curb surging inflation.
"Uncertainties have also continued over the Ukraine crisis and China's shutdown of major cities due to the Covid-19 pandemic," Seo added.
Shanghai has remained locked down since the end of March and Beijing has tightened travel and business restrictions over the spread of Covid-19.
In Seoul, LG Energy Solution sank 1.87 percent to 394,000 won, and Samsung SDI nosedived 4.21 percent to 591,000 won.
Samsung Electronics shed 0.6 percent to 66,100 won, and SK hynix remained flat at 107,500 won.
The local currency ended at 1,274.0 won against the dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session's close. It marked the highest since March 19, 2020, when the won had depreciated to 1,285.70 won.
The Kosdaq declined 23.38 points, or 2.64 percent, to close at 860.84 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds fell 8.1 basis points to 3.060 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 9.7 basis points to 3.13 percent.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [email@example.com]