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Seoul shares end lower on profit taking; won sharply down

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 5, 2023 - 16:16

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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)

South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Tuesday, as investors moved to lock in profits from recent gains while awaiting cues for the Federal Reserve's future policy path. The local currency sharply fell against the dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 2.37 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 2,582.18, ending a two-day winning streak. Trading volume was a bit slim at 377.33 million shares worth 7.36 trillion won ($5.54 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 537 to 337.

Institutions and retail investors sold a net 148.33 billion won and 29.06 billion worth of shares, respectively, while foreigners bought a net 148.58 billion won worth of shares.

The index opened a tad lower and showed lackluster moves due to the lack of fresh market-moving leads.

Investors digested the news that South Korea's annual consumer inflation accelerated to 3.4 percent in August due to higher prices of agricultural and manufactured goods.

Investors now await messages from Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins and New York Fed President John Williams about the economy and the Fed's future policy direction during public events later this week.

A US job market report for August showed signs of cooling, raising hope for an easing of the Fed's aggressive interest rate hikes.

Top-cap shares traded mixed on the Seoul bourse.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.7 percent to 70,700 won following recent sharp gains, while chip giant SK hynix inched up 0.17 percent to 119,400 won.

Battery shares gathered ground. Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution surged 1.13 percent to 536,000 won, and LG Chem added 1.02 percent to 592,000 won. Samsung SDI grew 0.98 percent to 616,000 won.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco Holdings climbed 1.19 percent to 597,000 won.

But carmakers fell, with top automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 0.37 percent to 186,600 won and its affiliate Kia losing 1.12 percent to 79,100 won.

Major platform operators ended mixed. Internet giant Naver increased 0.24 percent to 212,000 won, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, retreated 0.41 percent to 48,900 won.

The local currency ended at 1,330.6 won against the dollar, down 10.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)