SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Thursday after a choppy session, as the hopes for economic recovery is balanced against concerns about fast inflation. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 5.8 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 3,007.33 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 871 million shares worth some 10.3 trillion won (US$8.7 billion), with loser outnumbering gainers 563 to 297.
Foreigners bought a net 42 billion won, while retail investors sold 159 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 128 billion won.
Stocks fluctuated as investors take a wait-and-see approach amid growing hopes of a fast economic reopening and concerns about post-pandemic inflation.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.43 percent to 35,609 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slipped 0.05 percent to 15,121 points.
"The U.S. stocks are performing better at the moment, because local stocks markets are currently lacking the upward momentum," said Meritz Securities analyst Lee Jin-woo.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slid 0.14 percent to 70,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 1.63 percent to 96,300 won.
LG Chem shed 4.05 percent to 806,000 won, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.72 percent to 207,500 won.
Among gainers, internet portal operator Naver advanced 0.74 percent to 410,500 won, banking heavyweight Kakao Bank gained 0.84 percent to 60,200 won, and the country's top steelmaker, POSCO, climbed 0.48 percent to 311,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,177.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3 won from the previous session's close.
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