(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)
SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks retreated for a third straight session Tuesday on concerns that the surging energy prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine may hamper the post-pandemic economic recovery. The Korean won steeply fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 28.91 points, or 1.09 percent, to close at 2,622.4 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 531 million shares worth some 11.5 trillion won (US$9.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 732 to 148.
Foreigners sold a net 473 billion won and institutions offloaded 293 billion won, while retail investors bought 732 billion won.
Stocks opened sharply lower amid concerns that the surging energy prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine may hamper the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The sharp drop in the local currency also fanned foreign sell-offs.
U.S. stocks also suffered a decline on Monday (local time).
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite tumbled 3.62 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 2.37 percent. The S&P 500 plummeted to the lowest point in 17 months.
As the commodity prices soar, investors are eyeing the U.S. consumer price index for February, a key gauge for inflation, which will be released Thursday (U.S. time).
"Now investors are paying keen attention to the CPI data, seeking clues about whether the Federal Reserve would be willing to help out the stock markets," Samsung Securities analyst Jeong Myung-ji said.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.86 percent to 69,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 1.26 percent to 118,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved down 2.14 percent to 503,000 won, and steelmaker POSCO dipped 3.15 percent to 276,500 won.
Among gainers, bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics added 0.65 percent to 769,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,237 won against the U.S. dollar, steeply down 9.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.1 basis point to 2.287 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.2 basis point to 2.523 percent.
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