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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 4th session amid virus concerns, profit-taking

All News 16:37 August 10, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks retreated for the fourth straight session Tuesday, as concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus turned investors risk-averse. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slumped 17.23 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 3,243.19 points.

Trading volume was high at about 719 million shares worth some 21.4 trillion won (US$18.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 647 to 214.

Foreigners sold a net 638 billion won, while retail investors bought 1.54 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 385 billion won.

An electronic signboard at the Korea Exchange in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,243.19 points on Aug. 10, 2021, down 17.23 points, or 0.53 percent, from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Stocks got off to a weak start, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street from concerns that the highly contagious delta variant may hamper the global economic recovery.

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to above 1,500 on Tuesday, as the nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 cases continued during the summer vacation season.

"Spreading cases of delta variants raised oil prices and pulled down stock prices, while investors took to the sidelines ahead of the upcoming release of U.S. inflation data this week," Kiwoom Securities analyst Han ji-young said.

The U.S. consumer price index for July, set to be released Wednesday (U.S. time), is expected to be one of the key gauges on how the Fed will taper its accommodative policies.

In Seoul, bio stocks advanced, while tech and financial caps slumped.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 1.6 percent to 80,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 3.02 percent to 112,500 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 4.18 percent to 947,000 won, with Celltrion climbing 1.5 percent to 270,000 won.

Financial top cap Kakao Bank tumbled 9.04 percent to 71,400 won on profit-taking on its third day of trading, but game developer Krafton gained 1.23 percent to 454,000 won on its stock market debut.

Internet portal giant Naver slipped 0.22 percent to 446,500 won, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor moved down 0.9 percent to 219,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,149.8 won to the U.S. dollar, down 5.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.4 basis point to 1.432 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.9 basis point to 1.662 percent.


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