SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Friday, ending a winning streak of five consecutive sessions on an escalating dispute between the United States and China that may further undermine the country's exports. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 28.18 points, or 1.41 percent, to close at 1,970.13. Trading volume was moderate at about 832 million shares worth some 9.3 trillion won (US$7.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 719 to 157.
Foreigners sold a net 468 billion won, ending a three-day buying streak, while retail investors purchased a net 939 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 456 billion won.
South Korean stocks had closed higher for five consecutive sessions, joining other global stock markets in a rally sparked by hopes of a quick economic recovery and the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
The New York stock market finished lower Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his attack against China, saying a "wacko" in China was blaming everybody other than China for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
"Trump seems to be poised to continue tackling China as part of his strategy for reelection, and this will be an issue that pulls down stock prices," KB Securities analyst Lee Eun-taek said.
The analyst, however, noted the fresh dispute between the world's two largest economies may not lead to a full blown conflict as Trump also needs to boost the economy for his reelection, apparently implying such efforts would require improved ties with China.
Most large caps finished in negative terrain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics plunged 2.40 percent to 48,750 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix tumbled 2.52 percent to 81,300 won.
Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics added 1.48 percent to 618,000 won, but Celltrion slipped 1.14 percent to 216,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 2.78 percent to 94,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shedding 1.63 percent to 30,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,237.0 won per dollar, down 6.10 won from the previous session's close.