(LEAD) Seoul stocks slip over Credit Suisse rout

-- Seoul stocks closed slightly lower Thursday amid concerns that global investment bank Credit Suisse's fiasco may worsen and possibly harm the global financial sector. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 1.81 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 2,377.91 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 314 million shares worth some 7.7 trillion won (US$5.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 670 to 220.

Institutions sold a net 3.9 billion won and foreigners offloaded 86 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 69 billion won.

Investors remain worried that the Swiss-based Credit Suisse, hit by scandals and losing confidence from investors, may face further uncertainties down the road.

The local stock markets have come under turbulence this week amid woes over the falls and crises of global lenders.

Also, market players are trying to gauge how the Federal Reserve will respond to the recent turmoil triggered by U.S. banks amid still higher inflation.

On Wednesday, Seoul stocks rebounded from the aftermath of the failure of two U.S. banks: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.

"The Credit Suisse crash seems to have passed its worst, but investors still seem to be bracing themselves for more possible cases of a liquidity crunch at other lenders," Kiwoom Securities analyst Han Ji-young said.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.17 percent to 59,900 won, while chipmaker SK hynix slid 0.13 percent to 79,000 won.

Top battery maker LG energy Solutions advanced 1.95 percent to 576,000 won, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.17 percent to 174,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,313 won against the greenback, down 9.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 7.3 basis points to 3.4 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 6 basis points to 3.364 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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