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Seoul stocks dip nearly 2% on massive foreign selling

Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed at 3,069.05 on Thursday, 53.51 points or 1.71 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed at 3,069.05 on Thursday, 53.51 points or 1.71 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks dipped almost 2 percent Thursday on massive foreign selling, generated by results of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 53.51 points, or 1.71 percent, to close at 3,069.05 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth around 22.7 trillion won ($20.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 768 to 114.

Foreigners sold a net 1.6 trillion won and institutions offloaded a net 382 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.9 trillion won.

Foreign selling increased as the US Fed did not announce new measures to quicken the economic recovery, analysts said.

"Investors have paid keen attention to concerns of China's monetary tapering and the results of the (US) FOMC meeting results," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.

"The FOMC reassured that it is too early to discuss tapering, but investors seemed to have anticipated more than just the comments on recovery signals," he added.

Investors' profit-taking rush during the earnings report season also drove the KOSPI down.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics lost 2.22 percent to 83,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dipped 4.28 percent to 123,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics dropped 1.3 percent to 838,000 won, but Celltrion gained 1.67 percent to 334,500 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 2.85 percent to 238,500 won, while leading chemical company LG Chem moved up 1.08 percent to 938,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver jumped 3.95 percent to 355,000 won, but its rival Kakao fell 1.51 percent to 458,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,119.6 won against the US dollar, down 15.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.5 basis point to 0.977 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.6 basis point to 1.329 percent. (Yonhap)
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