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Seoul stocks slump 1% amid virus resurgence, mixed US indicators

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks retreated 1 percent Monday amid concerns about the resurgence of new coronavirus cases and mixed signals in the US economic indicators. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slumped 32.87 points to close at 3,244.04 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 12.6 trillion won ($11 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 679 to 184.

Foreigners sold a net 454 billion won, while retail investors bought 938 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 458 billion won.

Stocks retreated as the fourth wave of COVID-19 at home weakened investor sentiment for risky assets.

The infection of 247 South Korean sailors in waters off Africa -- the worst mass infection case in the recent resurgence of the virus -- sent shockwaves across South Korea, raising concerns about the highly contagious variant.

Mixed economic indicator in the United States also increased foreign selling.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.86 percent on the disappointing consumer sentiment index that offset optimism from retail sales. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 lost 0.8 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively.

"The (US indicators) and the spreading delta variant infections seem to have affected the investor sentiment and dragged down local stock prices," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

Most large caps retreated, with losses on tech, auto and financial stocks leading the KOSPI's fall.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 1 percent to 79,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.06 percent to 119,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver moved down 0.89 percent to 443,000 won, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.09 percent to 227,500 won.

Giant chemical maker LG Chem lost 0.97 percent to 820,000 won, while top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics advanced 1.89 percent to 916,000 won.

Financial heavyweight KB Financial Group lost 2.67 percent to 51,100 won.

The local currency closed at 1,147.08 won to the US dollar, down 8.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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