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Seoul stocks rebound on eased inflation woes

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks rebounded Friday from the previous session's sharp fall, amid eased inflation concerns after the group of major oil exporting countries announced a plan to increase the crude supply and the US job market showed weaker-than-expected growth. The local currency rose sharply against the US dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 11.66 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,670.65. Trading volume was moderate at 552.2 million shares worth 7.45 trillion won (US$5.99 billion) with gainers outnumbering decliners 506 to 336.

"The news on OPEC Plus' additional supply increase raise the prospect of a decline in global oil prices, helping to ease inflation concerns," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said.

The OPEC Plus decided Thursday (local time) to add 648,000 barrels per day to the market next month and August, raising the size from the 432,000 barrels per day that it had previously set.

US employment data showed a lower-than-expected increase in payrolls for May, suggesting weakening labor demand amid the Fed's move toward higher interest rates.

US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said there is little chance for a pause in rate hikes and at least a couple more 0.5 percentage-point hikes are likely, confirming the Fed's firm stance on the policy direction.

In Seoul, chemical companies and refineries were among the gainers. Leading chemical firm LG Chem hiked 2.63 percent to 585,000 won, and top refiner SK Innovation jumped 4.64 percent to 225,500 won.

SKC, a chemical unit under South Korea's SK Group, soared 4.09 percent to 165,500 won following media reports it is considering selling its polyester film business to focus more on electric vehicle battery materials and other eco-friendly sectors.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics rose 0.15 percent to 66,800 won. LG Energy Solution, the second most valued company on the main bourse, shed 0.68 percent to 437,500 won.

Auto shares closed bearish. Top player Hyundai Motor was down 0.27 percent to 187,000 won, with its smaller affiliate, Kia, dipping 1.76 percent to 83,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,242.70 won against the US dollar, up 9.4 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)

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