(ATTN: ADDS more details to paragraphs 9, 12, bond yields at bottom, photo)
SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investor confidence was dampened by growing worries about a global economic slowdown amid high inflation and the lockdown. continuous antivirus in China. The local currency fell sharply against the US dollar.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.10% or 29.25 points to close at 2,639.06.
Trading volume was moderate at 1.06 billion shares worth 12.40 trillion won ($9.81 billion), with declines outpacing gains 695 to 193.
Foreigners and institutions sold 678.7 billion won and 237.7 billion won worth of stocks, respectively, while retail investors bought 904.6 billion won net.
The index tracked overnight losses on Wall Street as investors focused on the impending aggressive monetary tightening by the US central bank and China’s lockdown of Shanghai and other major cities in the face of the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“High inflation should trigger faster-than-expected rate hikes, stoking fears of an economic slowdown. Kyeong-soo said.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he saw the need to move “a little faster” in terms of raising interest rates to bring inflation down, and a hike of 50 basis points is possible next month.
Most large-cap stocks on the Seoul Stock Exchange lost ground, with technology and financials leading the fall.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 1.66% to 65,000 won, the lowest level since Nov. 20, 2020, when the figure rose to 64,700 won amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. Major chipmaker SK hynix fell 2.25% to 108,500 won.
Battery maker LG Energy Solution, the second most valuable company in the KOSPI, fell 1.3% to 418,000 won as the 90-day lock-up period for shares awarded from its initial public offering ended during the day. It made its stock market debut in January.
KB Financial fell 3.5% to 57,900 won and Kakao Bank fell 2.31% to 42,250 won.
Platform operators also ended in negative territory, with internet portal giant Naver falling 2.26% to 280,500 won and platform operator Kakao down 2.0% to 88,400 won.
But organic stocks gained ground after the new government pledged to make the sector a future engine of growth.
Samsung Biologics rose 0.75% to 810,000 won and biopharmaceutical giant Celltrion rose 1.79% to 171,000 won. Vaccine maker SK Bioscience jumped 2.18% to 140,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,265.20 won against the US dollar, down 14.40 won from Tuesday’s close.
It is the first time in more than two years that the local currency has fallen to the level of 1,260 won.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasury bills added 6.9 basis points to 2.899% and the yield on five-year government bonds rose 3.7 basis points to 3.122%.