An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks retreated for a second straight session Thursday, as investor sentiment worsened on concerns about aggressive rate hikes. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 19.35 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 2,218.09 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 8.1 trillion won (US$5.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 607 to 273.
Institutions offloaded a net 409 billion won and foreigners sold 24 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 399 billion won.
Stocks got off to a weak start as investors expected further hikes in the policy interest rates at home and in major economies.
The Fed’s St. Louis president said the current high inflation growth requires further rate hikes and expected the US central bank to wrap up its aggressive rate hikes by early next year.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.33 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.85 percent.
The Fed is slated to hold its rate-decision meeting on Nov. 1-2 (US time). The Bank of Korea is set to hold a rate-setting meeting Nov. 24.
“Investors’ worries about a recession weighed on the local stocks,” Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 0.54 percent to 55,500 won, chip giant SK hynix slumped 2.91 percent to 90,200 won, and battery maker LG Energy Solutions decreased 0.5 percent to 495,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor inched up 0.3 percent to 168,500 won, while steelmaker POSCO Holdings declined 1.18 percent to 252,000 won.
Kakao, the operator of the country’s most popular mobile messenger app, KakaoTalk, dipped 4.12 percent to 47,750 won. Major chemical firm LG Chem went down 4.05 percent to 569,000 won.
The Korean won closed at 1,433.3 won against the US dollar, down 7.1 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)