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Kospi extends losing streak as stock sell-off continues

Mar 19,2020
The Kospi crashed 81.24 points Wednesday, or 4.86 percent, to close at 1,591.20, sinking below the 1,600-point level and marking its lowest point since May 26, 2010.

Most stocks plunged as foreign and institutional investors sold off their shares.

Blue chips were hit the heaviest, falling 4.9 percent, while small caps fell 3.7 percent.

Construction shares dropped the most sharply, falling 7 percent.

Samsung Electronics shed 3.59 percent to reach 45,600 won ($36.19), and chipmaker SK hynix plummeted 9.08 percent to 73,100 won. Battery maker Samsung SDI nosedived 9.96 percent to 221,500 won.

Carmakers also finished weak. Hyundai Motor sank 8.24 percent to 73,500 won, and its auto parts arm Hyundai Mobis decreased 7.54 percent to 141,000 won. Kia Motors shed 0.2 percent to reach 25,300 won.

Shipbuilders also finished in negative terrain, with Samsung Heavy Industries falling 7.3 percent to 3,810 won and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering plunging 8.52 percent to 71,900 won.

Online portal operator Naver shed 3.31 percent to hit 146,000 won, and its rival Kakao lost 4.41 percent to close at 141,000 won.

Chemical firm LG Chem went down 8.65 percent to 280,000 won, while LG Household & Health Care moved up 3.85 percent to 1,133,000 won. Oil refiner SK Innovation, on the other hand, lost 8.99 percent to 70,900 won. Refiner S-Oil fell 0.17 percent to 57,700 won and Lotte Chemical fell 6.73 percent to 138,500 won.

Pharmaceutical firms closed sharply higher, with Samsung BioLogics increasing 4.07 percent to 400,500 won. Celltrion went down 6.55 percent to 157,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq was down 29.59 points, or 5.75 percent, to close at 485.14.

The local currency closed at 1,245.70 won against the dollar, up 2.20 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.3 basis points to 1.045 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 34.8 basis points to reach 1.08 percent.

BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]