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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 3rd day amid Ukraine risk

All News 16:40 February 15, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks extended their losing streak to a third session Tuesday, as investors' appetite for risky assets weakened amid heightening U.S.-Russia tensions over Moscow's potential invasion of Ukraine. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 27.94 points, or 1.03 percent, to close at 2,676.54 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 575 million shares worth some 9.2 trillion won (US$7.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 698 to 174.

Foreign investors sold a net 265 billion won, while institutions bought 66 billion won and retail investors purchased 184 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,676.54 points on Feb. 15, 2022, down 27.94 points or 1.03 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

After a flat start, the key stock index increasingly lost ground amid foreign sell-offs.

Investors took to the sidelines, taking a cue from the bearish U.S. stock markets overnight. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite closed almost unchanged and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.49 percent.

The South Korean government said it will make policy efforts to reign in the market volatility from the Ukraine crisis, citing the growing tensions between the United States and Russia over the region.

"Investors seem to have dumped local stocks due to the continued jitters over Ukraine uncertainties and the rising oil prices," Shinhan Investment researcher Choi Yoo-joon said.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics closed unchanged from the previous session at 73,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dropped 4.15 percent to 127,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver declined 1.09 percent to 318.50 won, and bio giant Samsung Biologics retreated 3.01 percent to 740,000 won.

Among gainers, LG Chem advanced 0.48 percent to 622,000 won, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor adding 2.27 percent to 180,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,199.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.2 basis point to 2.345 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.7 basis points to 2.524 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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