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(LEAD) Seoul stocks slump for 4th day amid renewed virus concerns

16:39 November 26, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks retreated for a fourth straight session Friday, largely on investors' worry about the escalating coronavirus situation at home and abroad. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 43.83 points, or 1.47 percent, to close at 2,936.44 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 582 million shares worth some 11.6 trillion won (US$9.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 799 to 105.

Foreigners sold a net 179 billion won, and institutions purchased 376 billion won, while retail investors bought 495 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,936.44 points on Nov. 26, 2021, down 43.83 points or 1.47 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Losses of chemical and tech heavyweights led the KOSPI's retreat.

South Korea added 3,901 new COVID-19 cases Friday, two days after a record 4,115. Also, market sentiment cooled on news the new variant strain of the coronavirus is spreading in South Africa and is set to spread further into other countries.

"The resurgence of COVID-19 has been affecting the overall financial markets -- investors seem to have dumped stocks in most sectors, except the vaccine-related shares," said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam.

Bank shares rose in the wake of the central bank's rate hike the previous day.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics decreased 1.9 percent to 72,300 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 1.7 percent to 115,500 won, and internet portal operator Naver lost 1.51 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics climbed 1.06 percent, and SK Bioscience surged 9.41 percent.

Banking top cap Kakao Bank advanced 0.44 percent to 68,200 won, and payment service provider Kakao Pay gained 2.77 percent to 222,500 won.

Among losers, chemical heavyweight LG Chem moved down 1.89 percent to 389,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,193.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.1 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed steeply higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 7 basis points to 1.863 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 11.8 basis points to 2.050 percent.



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