SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main stock market saw its trading volume shrink more than 16 percent this month from a year earlier, data showed Monday, as investors remained on the sidelines amid inflation worries and other negatives.
The daily trading volume of the country's main bourse averaged 940 million shares during 10 sessions between May 2 and Friday, down 16.4 percent from a year ago, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.
In particular, the average daily trading volume of the top 10 caps, excluding major battery maker LG Energy Solution, tumbled nearly 40 percent over the cited period.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics posted the biggest on-year drop of 87.3 percent, trailed by steel titan POSCO Holdings with 63.5 percent and leading automaker Hyundai Motor with 45 percent.
Analysts attributed the drop in trading volume to monetary tightening in major economies, and concerns over US inflation and a downturn of the world's largest economy, which spooked investors and left them on wait-and-see mode.
Trading volume of a stock market tends to decline on a bullish market and vice versa.
Amid growing market volatility, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged to a 1 1/2-year low of 2,550.08 on Thursday before bouncing back a day later.
U.S. consumer inflation soared 8.3 percent in April from a year earlier, well above a market forecast of 8.1 percent, stoking worries over America's economic downturn.
Making matters worse, seesawing cryptocurrencies in major bourses across the global have further disheartened stock investors here, market watchers said.
They voiced concern a rebound in South Korea's key stock index may not be on the horizon for the time being, as U.S. inflation is unlikely to level off in a short period of time, given the Fed's tight policy, the war in Ukraine and China's coronavirus lockdowns of major cities.
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