The Korea Herald


Seoul shares rise over 1% on revived rate-cut hopes

By Yonhap

Published : June 7, 2024 - 16:02

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

South Korean stocks ended more than 1 percent higher Friday as investors' hopes for US rate cuts increased after the European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in almost five years. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 33.17 points, or 1.23 percent, to close at 2,722.67.

Trade volume was heavy at 771.8 million shares worth 12.2 trillion won ($8.9 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 460 to 400.

Foreign investors and institutions bought shares worth 286.5 billion won and 157.7 billion won, respectively, while individuals unloaded 467 billion won worth of shares.

"The Kospi rose as expectations grew for a transition to a monetary easing policy following the ECB's rate cut," Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said.

Overnight, the ECB delivered a quarter-point cut to its benchmark interest rate to 3.35 percent.

Lee also said the softer-than-expected US jobs data released earlier this week by the payroll processor ADP signaled the inflationary pressure may be weakening, a positive sign for the Federal Reserve to consider cutting its rates.

Investors' eyes are now on the May jobs report set to be released by the US government later in the day.

In Seoul, South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics edged down 0.13 percent to 77,300 won, while chipmaker SK hynix shot up 7.12 percent to 207,500 won on the back of US artificial intelligence chip giant Nvidia's continued strong performance.

Battery shares also continued their winning streak. Industry leader LG Energy Solution jumped 2.13 percent to 359,000 won, and Samsung SDI advanced 1.92 percent to 399,000 won.

Financial shares also gained ground, with KB Financial Group up 2.84 percent to 79,600 won and Shinhan Financial Group up 3.4 percent to 47,100 won.

Steel giant Posco Holdings also rose 1.44 percent to 386,500 won, and leading chemical producer LG Chem jumped 2 percent to 382,000 won.

SK soared 10.98 percent on news reports its chairman recently discussed strengthening cooperation with TSMC in Taiwan.

The local currency ended at 1,365.30 won against the greenback, up 7.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, gained ground. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.7 basis points to 3.308 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds dropped 3.9 basis points to 3.329 percent. (Yonhap)