Stocks fall again as investors avoid risky assets
Stocks fell again Thursday, as investors avoided risky assets amid monetary tightening and recession fears. The local currency fell to the lowest point against the dollar in almost 13 years.
After choppy trading, the Kospi dropped 28.49 points, or 1.22 percent, to close at 2,314.32, after falling to as low as 2,306.48.
Trading volume was moderate at 729.97 million shares worth 9.98 trillion won ($7.67 billion), with decliners far outpacing gainers by 838 to 77.
Institutions bought a net 926.3 billion won, while foreign and retail investors offloaded a net 296 billion won and 671.7 billion won worth of shares, respectively.
"The market will remain volatile for the time being as the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates again next month and the Bank of Korea also seems to be on its way toward big-step raises," said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst with Eugene Investment & Securities.
Overnight, Wall Street closed lower after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the central bank's aggressive rate hikes could cause an economic downturn.
The U.S. central bank raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage points last week, its steepest increase since 1994.
Seoul shares closed mixed.
Samsung Electronics lost 0.35 percent to 57,400 won, while chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.17 percent to 90,200 won.
LG Energy Solution declined 0.25 percent to 400,000 won, and LG Chem shed 0.36 percent to 551,000 won. Hyundai Motor decreased 0.29 percent to close at 171,000 won.
Among the gainers, Samsung Biologics inched up 0.37 percent to 820,000 won, and Naver increased 2.18 percent to 234,000 won. Kia added 1.05 percent to 77,200 won.
The local currency ended at 1,301.80 won against the dollar, up 4.5 won from the previous session's close and hitting a 13-year low since July 13, 2009.
The Kosdaq lost 32.58 points, or 4.36 percent, to close at 714.38 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 3.9 basis points to 3.597 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 12 basis points to 3.16 percent.
BY LIM JEONG-WON, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]