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Seoul stocks snap 3-day winning streak on profit-taking

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks ended their three-day winning streak on Monday, largely as investors attempted to cash in profits from recent stock rallies. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 5.2 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 2,745.06 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 410 million shares worth some 11.1 trillion won ($9.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 467 to 385.

Institutions sold a net 834 billion won and foreigners offloaded 5 billion won, while retail investors bought 810 billion won.

The key stock index got off to a weak start and deepened losses amid institutional sell-offs.

Along with investors' profit-taking, analysts also attributed the sell-offs to the estimate-beating US jobs data in January, released late last week, that fanned concerns about the Federal Reserve's hawkish policy tightening.

"Most large caps retreated except LG Energy Solution. Investors seem to have kept their LG Energy Solution shares ahead of the upcoming MSCI review (for Feb. 9), while dumping others," said Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan.

"Overall, investors seem to have taken to the sidelines due to the lingering worries about (the Fed's) policy tightening," he added.

Top cap Samsung Electronics moved down 1.35 percent to 73,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 1.2 percent to 123,000 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem plunged 5.75 percent to 639,000 won, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics shed 0.78 percent to 763,000 won. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor also declined 1.84 percent to 186,500 won.

Among gainers, LG Energy Solution soared 8.73 percent to 548,000 won, and Kakao Bank added 0.59 percent to 42,350 won.

The local currency closed at 1,200.7 won against the US dollar, down 3.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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