The Korea Herald


Seoul shares rise on strong battery, steel performance

By Yonhap

Published : July 24, 2023 - 16:06

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

South Korean stocks ended higher Monday as major battery and steel shares rose sharply amid expectations for further industry growth, with a focus on corporate earnings and the United States' upcoming rate-setting meeting. The local currency advanced against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 18.77 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 2,628.53, the second consecutive rise. Trading volume was a bit heavy at 522.67 million shares worth 18.81 trillion won ($14.69 billion), with losers far outpacing gainers 790 to 118.

The index opened lower on big-cap tech losses in the runup to the release of quarterly corporate results, but retail buying erased earlier losses and further led the upturn of the market.

Individual investors picked up a net 461.09 billion won worth of shares, while foreign and institutional investors shed a net 169.17 billion won and 294.85 billion won worth of shares, respectively.

"Volatility will continue as investors are waiting for interest rate-setting meetings by the US and major nations this week and earnings reports by big firms," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to hold a two-day rate-setting meeting starting Tuesday, where the US central bank is largely expected to raise the key rate by 0.25 percentage point. Investors harbor hopes that this might be the final increase of the Fed's monetary tightening cycle.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.14 percent to 70,400 won, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 4.92 percent to 597,000 won.

LG Chem climbed 2.74 percent to 713,000 won.

Posco Holdings surged 16.52 percent as its quarterly earnings met market expectations, and its second-quarter operating profit jumped 88.1 percent to surpass 1 trillion won for the first time in a year.

Posco Future M also soared 10.5 percent to 542,000 won after reporting positive results in its battery unit.

Samsung SDI advanced 3.79 percent to 712,000 won, and SK Innovation went up 11.21 percent to 196,500 won.

But chip giant SK hynix skidded 0.96 percent to 114,000 won.

Carmakers also lost ground. Top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.4 percent to 199,200 won, and its affiliate Kia sank 1.18 percent to 83,500 won.

Major bio firm Samsung Biologics decreased 0.8 percent to 742,000 won, and Celltrion dived 2.38 percent to 147,400 won.

Platform operators fell, with internet giant Naver going down 1.46 percent to 203,000 won and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, losing 1.48 percent to 49,850 won.

The local currency ended at 1,279.9 won against the US dollar, up 3.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)