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Seoul shares fall as rate hike concerns linger

By Yonhap

Published : July 18, 2023 - 16:01

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

Seoul shares finished lower Tuesday as lingering rate hike fears spurred sell-offs among institutions and foreign investors. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 11.38 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 2,607.62.

Trading volume was moderate at 485.85 million shares worth 11.75 trillion won ($9.32 billion), with decliners far outpacing gainers 723 to 171.

Institutions and foreigners offloaded a net 300.02 billion won and 187.17 billion won worth of stocks, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 476.83 billion won.

Overnight, Wall Street closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting its highest closing level in 2023, as the market anticipated more upbeat second-quarter earnings results following strong performances from some major banks.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a positive signal to the market, saying she sees the US on a "good path" to tamp down inflation without tipping the economy into a recession.

There are, however, lingering concerns that the US central bank could keep its monetary tightening campaign going past its July policy meeting, where it is widely expected to raise rates.

In Seoul, big-cap shares ended mixed.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics shed 1.77 percent to finish at 72,000 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.51 percent to 117,800 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor went down 0.98 percent to 201,500 won, and its sister company Kia declined 0.81 percent to 85,900 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution added 2.04 percent to 549,000 won, and major chemical company LG Chem advanced 1.34 percent to 679,000 won.

Steel giant Posco Holdings climbed 2.09 percent to 488,000 won, and Posco Future M, the industrial materials unit of Posco Holdings, jumped 13.23 percent to 458,000 won. Internet portal Naver gained 1.21 percent to 209,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,260.4 won against the US dollar, up 6.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)