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S. Korean stocks fall to 1.5-year low on Wall Street losses
Last Updated: 2018-10-11 17:28 | Xinhua
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South Korean stocks fell to the lowest in one and a half years on Thursday as U.S. stocks tumbled overnight amid the U.S. Treasury yield's hike.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged 98.94 points, or 4.44 percent, to settle at 2,129.67. Trading volume stood at 404.3 million shares worth 8.2 trillion won (7.2 billion U.S. dollars).

It was the lowest close in around one and a half years since April 12 last year. The main index kept falling for eight straight trading days, the longest decline in almost four and a half years.

The sharp decline, or the biggest daily fall in some seven years, came as all three major indices of the U.S. stock market declined more than 3 percent overnight.

The U.S. Treasury bond yields surged after U.S. President Donald Trump's denunciation of the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent interest rate hike, boosting fears among foreigners in the local stock market.

The Fed lifted its target rate in September to a range of 2.00-2.25 percent, the third rate increase in 2018 alone.

Foreign investors dumped domestic stocks over Wall Street losses. Retail and institutional investors were net buyers, limiting the KOSPI's further retreat.

Most blue-chip shares lost ground. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics tumbled 4.9 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix dipped 1.9 percent. The country's biosimilar behemoth Celltrion plunged 5.2 percent, and Samsung Biologics, the biosimilar unit of Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate, retreated 4.3 percent.

The biggest automaker Hyundai Motor lost 3.3 percent, and the country's No. 1 steelmaker POSCO dropped 5.5 percent. Samsung C&T, the de-facto holding company of Samsung Group, plummeted 6.5 percent, and the largest wireless operator SK Telecom shrank 5.3 percent.

South Korea's currency finished at 1,144.4 won against the greenback, down 10.4 won from the previous close.

Bond prices ended higher. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 4.7 basis point to 2.012 percent, and the return on the 10-year government bonds dipped 5.2 basis points to 2.361 percent.

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