SEOUL, July 19. (Yonhap) – South Korean stocks were down 1% on Monday amid concerns over the resurgence of new coronavirus cases and mixed signals from US economic indicators. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 32.87 points to close at 3,244.04 points.
Trading volume moderated to around 1.1 billion shares worth some 12.6 trillion won ($ 11 billion), with the losers outnumbering the winners 679 to 184.
Foreigners sold a net amount of 454 billion won, while retail investors bought 938 billion won. The institutions unloaded a net amount of 458 billion won.
Stocks retreated as the fourth wave of COVID-19 at home weakened investor sentiment for risky assets.
The infection of 247 South Korean sailors in waters off Africa – the worst case of mass infection in the recent resurgence of the virus – sent shockwaves through South Korea, sparking concern as for the highly contagious variant.
The mixed economic indicator in the United States also increased sales abroad.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.86% on the disappointing consumer confidence index which offset optimism in retail sales. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 lost 0.8% and 0.75% respectively.
“The (US indicators) and the spread of delta variant infections appear to have affected investor sentiment and lowered local stock prices,” Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Most large caps fell as losses in technology, autos and financials pushed KOSPI down.
In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 1% to 79,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix fell 2.06% to 119,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver fell 0.89% to 443,000 won, and major automaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.09% to 227,500 won.
Chemical giant LG Chem lost 0.97% to 820,000 won, while major pharmaceutical company Samsung Biologics was up 1.89% to 916,000 won.
Financial heavyweight KB Financial Group lost 2.67 percent to 51,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,147.08 won to the US dollar, down 8.3 won from the close of the previous session.