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Seoul shares close lower on profit-taking; won sharply up

By Yonhap

Published : March 11, 2024 - 16:05

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An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks ended lower Monday to snap their two-day winning streak as investors locked in part of gains after a recent rally. The local currency rose sharply against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 20.51 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,659.84.

Trade volume was moderate at 383 million shares worth 8.69 trillion won ($6.63 billion), with losers beating winners 517 to 353.

Foreigners and institutions led the decline, dumping a net 107 billion won and 112.3 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively. Individuals purchased a net 185.1 billion won.

Investors seemed to cash in recent gains in stocks that have soared in recent weeks by the government's value-up program to boost underperforming stocks or low price-to-book ratio stocks, and growing popularity for high-performance AI chips.

"The Kospi's decline was affected by a slump in low PBR stocks and semiconductor stocks," said Lee Jae-won, an analyst from Shinhan Securities Co.

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chipmaker, fell 1.23 percent to 72,400 won and its chipmaking rival SK hynix sank 3.08 percent to 166,600 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor slumped 3.75 percent to 243,500 won, and its sister Kia decreased 1.71 percent to 126,200 won.

Financial and retail stocks, which have been regarded as low PBR stocks, ended in negative territory.

Woori Financial Group slid 0.28 percent to 14,250 won, and KB Financial Group dropped 0.28 percent to 70,700 won.

Leading retailer Lotte Shopping moved down 0.13 percent to 75,600 won, and its rival Shinsegae retreated 1.84 percent to 165,400 won.

But game makers and entertainment firms were strong as NCSOFT jumped 4.62 percent to 197,000 won and Hybe, the record label behind global superstar BTS, soared 4.32 percent to 203,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,310.3 won against the greenback, up 9.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)