Roundup: S. Korean shares edge down after hitting this year's high
SEOUL, July 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares edged down on Wednesday, after hitting this year's high in the prior session, as investors sought to take a breather amid demand for redemption of stock-type funds.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0. 61 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 2,028.32. Trading volume stood at 345.34 million shares worth 4.05 trillion won (3.96 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI had a strong start, rising above the 2,030 level and hitting this year's high in the morning, due to expectations for fiscal stimulus from the new economic team.
Investors, however, turned bearish on the local stock market as the benchmark gauge recorded this year's closing high in the previous session, triggering profit-taking demand.
Retail and institutional investors sought to lock in profits by offloading shares worth 58 billion won and 66 billion won respectively.
Foreigners raised stock holdings by 135 billion won, limiting the KOSPI's big decline. Overseas investors kept their buying streak for the seventh consecutive sessions.
Many large-cap shares ended in negative territory. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics retreated 0.7 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor slid 1.5 percent. Memory chip giant SK Hynix and the nation's biggest web search engine Naver dropped more than 3 percent, and the country's No.1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell 0.9 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,023.7 won against the greenback, up 0.7 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes fell 0.049 percentage point to 2.464 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds declined 0. 025 percentage point to 2.970 percent.