The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks retreated for a second straight day Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the increasing inflationary pressure. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) slumped 15.94 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 3,009.55 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 608 million shares worth some 12.2 trillion won ($10.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 661 to 210.
Foreigners sold a net 249 billion won worth of stocks, while retail investors bought 339 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 113 billion won worth of stocks.
After a muted opening, stocks fluctuated in a tight range amid the tussle between the expectations of strong quarterly gains and concerns over rising price pressure.
Stocks turned to losses toward the session's close, in the wake of reports that the Chinese government is pushing to curb its spiking coal price.
"The steep decrease in the coal production is likely to fall short of winter demand, raising worries that the energy crunch may increase the inflation pressure globally," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.86 percent to 70,700 won after the company reported record sales revenue in the third quarter, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix surged 4.93 percent to 106,500 won.
Leading car battery firm LG Chem jumped 3.03 percent to 850,000 won.
Among losers, Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, lost 1.64 percent to 210,000 won, internet portal operator Naver declined 0.36 percent to 413,000 won, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics decreased 1.34 percent to 886,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,169.7 won against the US dollar, up 0.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)