Thursday, June 20, 2024

Seoul shares down for 2nd day ahead of U.S. inflation data

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SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Thursday ahead of the release of a key U.S. inflation report due later this week and on remarks by a Fed official that more data are necessary to cut rates. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 9.29 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,745.82.

Trade volume was moderate at 412.5 million shares worth 11.7 trillion won (US$8.69 billion), with losers beating winners 561 to 290.

Institutions remained net sellers, dumping a net 238.9 billion won worth of local shares, while foreign investors purchased a net 159.2 billion won and individuals bought 58.9 billion won.

“The KOSPI has been on an upward trajectory throughout March, and it seems to be experiencing minor corrections recently,” said Jung In-ji, an analyst from Yuanta Securities Korea.

Investors digested remarks by Fed Gov. Christopher Waller overnight that imply any rate cut by the Fed in the near future is unlikely and awaited U.S. core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index data, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation due this week.

Many large caps ended in negative territory across the board.

SK hynix, the world’s No. 2 memory chipmaker, fell 1.66 percent to 178,200 won, and leading battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution dropped 1.83 percent to 401,500 won.

Top online portal operator Naver retreated 1.16 percent to 187,100 won, and major game developer Netmarble skidded 2.92 percent to 63,100 won.

Leading defense firm Hanwha Aerospace sank 6.95 percent to 207,500 won, and local pharmaceutical company SK biopharm declined 2.32 percent to 92,500 won.

But top-cap Samsung Electronics rose 1.25 percent to 80,800 won, and local chip equipment company Hanmi Semiconductor shot up 17.13 percent to 134,000 won on media reports it is in talks with U.S. chipmaker Micron over a new supply deal.

The local currency closed at 1,346.2 won against the greenback, up 2.5 won from the previous session’s close that hit a four-month low.

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