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(LEAD) Seoul stocks sink over 1.5 pct on profit-taking

All News 16:43 November 30, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 3, 5-8, bond yields in bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares dropped more than 1.5 percent Monday after hitting an all-time high the previous session as investors attempted to cash in gains. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 42.11 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 2,591.34.

Trading volume was high at about 1.28 billion shares worth some 20.4 trillion won (US$18.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 511 to 331.

Foreigners sold a net 2.4 trillion won worth of local stocks, the largest amount on record, while retail investors picked up a record high amount of 2.2 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 202 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,581.34 on Nov. 30, 2020, down 42.11, or 1.6 percent, from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

After briefly touching a new all-time high of 2,648.55 points at one point, the benchmark index turned lower on foreign investors' profit-taking mode ahead of the MSCI weighting changes.

"Foreigners had bought a net 7 trillion won of local stocks this month, and with the KOSPI up 16 percent over the same period, investors are locking in gains," said Seo Jung-hoon, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Most large caps in Seoul ended lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 2.2 percent to 66,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.32 percent to 97,500 won.

Internet portal giant Naver declined 2.46 percent to 277,500 won, with its rival Kakao dipping 1.34 percent to 368,000 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem fell 1.23 percent to 800,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dropped 3.27 percent to 533,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics fell 1.63 percent to 786,000 won, while Celltrion climbed 1.8 percent to 340,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, inched up 0.28 percent to 181,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,106.5 won per dollar, down 3.3 won from the previous session's close, when it reached a 29-month high.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.4 basis point to 0.983 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 1.8 basis points to 1.659 percent.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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