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Seoul shares fall for 2nd day on profit-taking

March 25, 2024 - 16:08 By 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 declined for the second straight session Monday as investors sought to cash in recent gains. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 10.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,737.57.

Trade volume was moderate at 479.9 million shares worth 9.78 trillion won ($7.23 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 527 to 336.

Foreigners and institutions led the drop, dumping a combined 331.6 billion won worth of local shares, while individuals scooped up a net 330.3 billion won.

On Thursday, the KOSPI hit a nearly two-year high, backed by growing hopes for US rate cuts in the near future.

"Semiconductor, auto and financial shares, which had led last week's rally, lost ground due to profit-taking, but the loss was almost offset by an increase in bio and entertainment shares," said Lee Jae-won, an analyst from Shinhan Securities.

Techs, autos and banking shares led the overall market decline.

Top chipmaker Samsung Electronics retreated 0.89 percent to 78,200 won, and runner-up chipmaker SK hynix skidded 0.24 percent to 169,400 won.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.64 percent to 239,500 won, and its sister Kia declined 1.24 percent to 111,500 won.

Leading banking group KB Financial Group tumbled 3.87 percent to 72,000 won, and Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance dropped 1.63 percent to 33,100 won.

But battery shares were in positive territory, with industry leader LG Energy Solution gaining 0.24 percent to 414,500 won and Posco Future M rising 0.63 percent to 320,500 won.

Hybe, the record label behind global superstars BTS, jumped 5.72 percent to 207,000 won, and leading biotech firm Celltrion went up 0.37 percent to 188,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,342.1 won against the greenback, down 3.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)