Seoul shares snap 4-day winning streak amid U.S. midterm election results, cryptocurrency crash

SEOUL– South Korean stocks traded lower Thursday on an overnight dip on Wall Street amid the U.S. midterm election results and a crash in cryptocurrencies. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 22.18 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 2,402.23 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 886 million shares worth some 9.2 trillion won (US$6.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 525 to 319.

Institutions sold a net 158 billion won worth of stocks and foreigners also offloaded 117 billion won, while retail investors bought 237 billion won.

Stocks got off to a lackluster start, taking a cue from overnight Wall street losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.95 percent Wednesday, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 retreating 2.48 percent and 2.08 percent, respectively.

Investors were paying keen attention to the results of the U.S. midterm elections. Their appetite for risky assets also dwindled amid volatility in the cryptocurrency markets.

“The U.S. stock markets performed bearish as the Republicans are not expected to dominate the U.S. midterms as expected. The local stock market seems to have been affected by that,” said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 2.58 percent to 60,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipped 0.11 percent to 89,100 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 169,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia shedding 1.19 percent to 66,600 won. Chemical giant LG Chem decreased 2.8 percent to 695,000 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,377.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 12.7 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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