Send to

S. Korean shares fall on profit taking; won sharply down

March 22, 2024 - 17:48 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korean shares closed slightly lower Friday as investors cashed in gains after the market rallied by more than 2 percent the previous session. The local currency fell sharply against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 6.3 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 2,748.56.

Trade volume was moderate at 501.3 million shares worth 11.3 trillion won ($8.42 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 485 to 381.

Foreigners bought a net 665 billion won worth of stocks, while individuals offloaded a net 531 billion won. Institutions sold a net 162.8 billion won.

In the previous session, the main index closed at the highest in nearly two years since April 5, 2022, amid growing hopes for US rate cuts in the near future.

"As the market finished sharply higher over the two previous sessions, investors took a breather," said Kim Dae-wook, a researcher at Hana Securities.

Top tech giant Samsung Electronics finished 0.5 percent lower to 78,900 won, after soaring 3.12 percent the previous session after Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang mentioned his expectations of the South Korean chipmaker's product.

Battery makers closed mixed, with LG Energy Solution remaining unchanged from the previous session at 413,500 won, while Samsung SDI added 3.73 percent to 472,500 won.

Carmakers finished lower, with Hyundai Motor falling 3.37 percent to 243,500 won and Kia losing 2.42 percent to 112,900 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 1.5 percent to 262,000 won.

Samsung C&T, a trading firm, lost 3.03 percent to 160,000 won, while Posco International added 1.07 percent to 56,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,338.4 won against the greenback, down 16 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, rose. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 2.2 basis points to 3.284 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds shed 3.2 basis points to 3.317 percent. (Yonhap)