Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,264.81 on Wednesday, down 6.57 points or 0.2 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks edged down Wednesday, snapping a two-day winning streak as US losses amid renewed inflationary pressure weakened investor sentiment. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) dropped 6.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 3,264.81 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 896 million shares worth some 12.8 trillion won ($11.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 514 to 334.
Foreigners sold a net 273 billion won worth of stocks and institutions offloaded a net 315 billion won, while retail investors bought a net 605 billion won.
Stocks got off to a weak start as an estimate-beating 0.9 percent on-year increase in US consumer prices in June fanned market worries that the US Federal Reserve may hasten the time frame for tapering its asset-buying program.
Overnight, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.38 percent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 down 0.31 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively.
"The (steep rise in US June) CPI could be a temporary phase caused by price hikes in used car prices," Shinhan Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
Amid record-breaking virus cases, the market's loss was limited on news that the country added jobs for four straight months in June.
Large caps closed mixed in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.38 percent to 79,500 won, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.41 percent to 123,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver climbed 0.68 percent to 444,000 won, while giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics slipped 0.12 percent to 864,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 230,000 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem increased 0.48 percent to 844,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,148.5 won against the US dollar, down 3.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 3.4 basis points to 1.390 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 3 basis points to 1.689 percent. (Yonhap)