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Stock markets decline for four straight sessions on foreign sellout

South Korea’s stock markets fell for four consecutive sessions on Friday, driven by foreign investors‘ sellout.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index began the day in positive territory but fell below 3,000 points for the first time since Jan. 6 when it recorded 2,976.21 points.

The index plunged 3.03 percent, or 92.84 points, to 2,976.21 points on Friday, marking the largest daily decline since Aug. 20, 2020.

Foreign and institutional investors sold a net of 1.43 trillion won and 253.7 billion, respectively, on Friday.

However, retail investors took Friday’s decline as an opportunity and bought a net 1.7 trillion won on the Kospi board. Small investors, locally known as “ant warriors” snapped up 3 trillion-won worth of shares in Samsung Electronics, which lost 2.03 percent to 82,000 won.

Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said hopes for an economic recovery have propelled markets to new highs since November. 

An electronic signboard in the dealing room of Hana Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) having plunged 92.84 points, or 13.03 percent, to close at 2,976.21 on Jan. 29, 2021, on massive foreign dumping, largely generated by valuation concerns over local stocks and a liquidity squeeze in China. (Yonhap)
An electronic signboard in the dealing room of Hana Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) having plunged 92.84 points, or 13.03 percent, to close at 2,976.21 on Jan. 29, 2021, on massive foreign dumping, largely generated by valuation concerns over local stocks and a liquidity squeeze in China. (Yonhap)
“As the markets have seen a steep increase, the downward pressure is also increasing,” Lee said. “In addition to negative assessment on the economy by the US Federal Open Market Committee, speculative trading on certain stocks in the US stock market has recently increased volatility,“ Lee added.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq also slid 3.38 percent, or 32.50 points, to close at 928.73 percent, on the same day. Retail investors purchased a net 215 billion won while institutional and foreign investors sold a net 109 billion won and 75.8 billion won.

This week, Kospi saw a 5.83 percent decline and Kosdaq a 5.88 percent decrease, with “ant warriors” collecting a net of 8.33 trillion won from the Kospi and a net 1.19 trillion from the Kosdaq board. 

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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