Stocks fall for a seventh day as economic concerns remain
Stocks closed lower Wednesday extending their losing streak to a seventh day as investors took a cautious approach amid concerns over high inflation and a global economic downturn, analysts said. The local currency inched up against the dollar.
The Kospi fell 4.29 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,592.27. Trading volume was light at 664.4 million shares worth 8.4 trillion won ($6.58 billion), with decliners outstripping gainers 502 to 360.
"Faced with the policy dilemma of having to control inflation versus propping up the economy, the Fed's monetary policy has been put to the test," Kwak Byeong-yeol, an analyst at Leading Investment & Securities, said.
"Uncertainties about an economic slowdown are inevitably a burden for the stock market, as the market tends to move in sync with the economic direction," he said.
Overnight, U.S. shares ended mixed on fears over an economic slowdown and the Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening to curb inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 0.26 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.98 percent.
In Seoul, foreigners were net sellers, unloading a net 289.1 billion won worth of local equities, with institutional investors also offloading a net 90.9 billion won. Retail investors bought a net 346.0 billion won.
Shares closed mixed, with transport and logistics shares gathering ground, while most financial stocks finished bearish.
HMM soared 3.66 percent to 29,700 won, and CJ Logistics advanced 4.53 percent to 127,000 won.
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance shed 1.75 percent to 196,000 won and Shinhan Financial lost 1.58 percent to 40,450 won.
Samsung Electronics closed flat at 65,700 won, and LG Energy Solution slipped 0.51 percent to 391,500 won.
The local currency ended at 1,275.30 won against the dollar, down 1.1 won from Tuesday's close.
The Kosdaq gained 10.20 points, or 1.19 percent, to close at 866.34 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds fell 11.1 basis points to 2.935 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 4.6 basis points to 2.99 percent.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]