South Korean Stocks Tumble 1.9 Percent Amid Middle East Concerns

Seoul — South Korean stocks closed nearly 2 percent lower on Thursday, affected by escalating concerns surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 46.8 points to close at 2,415.8, reaching its lowest level since October 10.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the trading volume was moderate, registering at 739.5 million shares worth 8.7 trillion won (US$6.3 billion). Decliners vastly outnumbered gainers at 808 to 94. Foreign investors sold off a net 155.4 billion won of local shares, and institutions offloaded a net 248.3 billion won. Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities, noted that the KOSPI was negatively affected by geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and rising U.S. bond yields.

Various sectors were impacted: Samsung Electronics fell 1.42 percent, SK hynix dropped 3.31 percent, and the local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar, ending at 1,357.4 won, down 7.8 won from the previous session's close.

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