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(LEAD) Seoul stocks dip over 1.5 pct on virus concerns

All News 16:32 December 08, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks dipped more than 1.5 percent Tuesday, snapping a five-session winning streak on concerns over the new coronavirus resurgence around the globe. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 44.51 points, or 1.62 percent, to close at 2,700.93.

Trading volume was high at about 1.4 billion shares worth some 16.9 trillion won (US$15.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 567 to 277.

Foreigners sold a net 846 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.1 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 278 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,700.03 on Dec. 8, 2020, down 44.51 points or 1.62 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI started weak after touching another all-time high the previous day.

Investor sentiment turned risk-averse as the country's daily new COVID-19 cases continued to hover near the 600-mark despite the toughened social distancing scheme.

"The local stock markets seem to be put under selling pressure amid a resurgence in virus cases," said Bookook Securities researcher Lee Won.

He also said foreign selling increased ahead of the simultaneous expiration of stock futures and options, set for Thursday.

Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.65 percent to 71,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.54 percent to 115,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics sank 5.91 percent to 828,000 won, and Celltrion plummeted 13.26 percent to 350,000 won after hitting an all-time high the previous day.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, dropped 3.62 percent to 186,500 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO declined 1.67 percent to 265,500 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem dropped 0.61 percent to 811,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI advanced 1.28 percent to 553,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver fell 1.55 percent to 285,000 won, with its rival Kakao down 2.73 percent to 374,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,085.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.2 basis point to 0.959 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond dropped 0.8 basis point to 1.311 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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