The Korea Herald


Seoul shares down for 2nd day on high oil prices, rate hike woes

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 6, 2023 - 16:27

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

South Korean stocks finished lower Wednesday, as rising global oil prices renewed concerns about inflation and the continued push for monetary tightening by major economies. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 18.84 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 2,563.34, extending a losing streak to the second session. Trading volume was moderate at 415.9 million shares worth 7.55 trillion won ($5.66 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 588 to 288.

The index opened a tad lower and had extended losses on heavy selling by institutions.

Institutions and foreigners sold a net 306.31 billion won and 69.52 billion worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 341.45 billion won worth of shares.

Investor sentiment became weak as global oil prices rose to the highest level since late 2022 after the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus vowed to extend supply cuts.

"Inflationary pressures will dash investors' hope for the Federal Reserve to ease its aggressive monetary tightening. Uncertainties regarding macroeconomic circumstances would limit the rise of the KOSPI," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

Fed Gov. Christopher Waller said Tuesday the Fed has room to proceed carefully with its monetary tightening given recent economic data.

Federal Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said the Fed may need to raise the interest rate further, which dragged down US shares Tuesday.

Big-cap tech and battery shares were among biggest decliners on the Seoul bourse.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.99 percent to 70,000 won, and chip giant SK hynix lost 1.01 percent to 118,200 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution sank 1.68 percent to 527,000 won, and POSCO Holdings tumbled 2.85 percent to 580,000 won.

Samsung SDI went down 2.11 percent to 603,000 won, and LG Chem retreated 1.18 percent to 585,000 won.

Carmakers closed mixed, with top automaker Hyundai Motor rising 0.05 percent to 186,700 won and its affiliate Kia losing 0.25 percent to 78,900 won.

Biotech firm Samsung Biologics fell 1.09 percent to 728,000 won, while Celltrion inched up 0.2 percent to 146,900 won.

Major platform operators gathered ground. Internet giant Naver increased 0.94 percent to 214,000 won, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, added 0.31 percent to 49,050 won.

Refiners rose on rising oil prices. S-Oil jumped 0.91 percent to 77,600 won, and GS surged 1.29 percent to 39,400 won.

The local currency ended at 1,330.5 won against the US dollar, up 0.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)