Stocks decline 1.6 percent, down for the eighth straight day
Shares dropped by more than 1.5 percent on Thursday to extend the losing streak to an eighth day as technology stocks declined amid concerns over high inflation and a global economic slowdown. The won fell sharply against the dollar.
The Kospi fell 42.19 points, or 1.63 percent, to 2,550.08, the lowest level since Nov. 19, 2020.
Trading volume was moderate at 883.2 million shares worth 11.93 trillion won ($9.25 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 794 to 117.
The main index continued to fall as investors expect the Federal Reserve to deliver a series of big rate hikes in the months to come to tame runaway inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 3.2 percent.
"Worse-than-expected U.S. inflation data sparked heavy selling of technology stocks on Wall Street. It also weighed on Korean tech stocks," Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at Shinhan Investment, said.
At the moment, there seems to be no upward momentum due to further rate hikes in the U.S. and the fallout from China's Covid-19 lockdown, he said.
Institutions sold a net 154.3 billion won of stocks and foreigners 281.5 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 386.0 billion won of stocks.
Samsung Electronics fell 1.2 percent to 64,900 won, and SK hynix declined 1.4 percent to 109,000 won. Hyundai Motor lost 1.4 percent to 180,500 won, and Korean Air Lines shed 3.2 percent to 28,450 won.
Hankook Tire & Technology jumped 7.4 percent to 35,750 won, Korea Aerospace Industries rose 0.7 percent to 46,450 won, and Korea Electric Power gained 0.7 percent to 22,250 won.
The local currency ended at 1,288.60 won against the dollar, up 13.30 won, from Wednesday's close.
The Kosdaq lost 32.68 points, or 3.77 percent, to close at 833.66 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds fell 3.4 basis points to 2.901 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 6.3 basis points to 2.92 percent.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [email@example.com]