The Korea Herald


Seoul shares close lower amid woes over Fed's drawn-out rate hike cycle

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 22, 2023 - 16:41

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

South Korean stocks closed lower for the second consecutive day Friday amid concerns the US Federal Reserve may keep its benchmark lending rate higher for longer. The local currency climbed against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index had declined 6.84 points, or 0.27 percent, to finish at 2,508.13.

Trading volume was moderate at 425.5 million shares worth 6.9 trillion won ($5.2 billion), with decliners outpacing winners 595 to 285.

Individuals purchased a total of 206.5 billion won, while offshore investors and institutions sold off 126.9 billion won and 97.6 billion won worth of local shares, respectively.

All three US stock indexes fell Thursday (US time) as investors' risk appetite dwindled after the Fed hinted it may go for another rate hike later this year after a rate-freeze decision.

"The US Fed's hawkish stance and high rates still put pressure on the domestic stock markets, but the Bank of Japan's decision to keep its monetary easing policy and the strong performance of China's stock market eased some pressure," Park Kwang-nam, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.

In Seoul, big-cap shares were mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 0.15 percent to 68,800 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.69 percent to 117,300 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution was up 0.82 percent to 491,000 won but its smaller rival Samsung SDI retreated 0.93 percent to 533,000 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor dipped 0.21 percent to 191,500 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia added 0.5 percent to 80,200 won.

IT stocks ended in negative terrain.

Internet portal operator Naver lost 0.95 percent to 208,000 won, and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, fell 1.31 percent to 45,050 won.

Steel giant POSCO Holdings also lost 1.39 percent to 569,000 won and its battery component-making affiliate POSCO Future M dropped 0.5 percent to 396,000 won.

Leading chemical producer LG Chem was down 1.52 percent to 517,000 won.

The Korean won ended at 1,336.80 won against the US dollar, up 2.9 won from Thursday's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys declined 5.4 basis points to 3.876 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds retreated 5.2 basis points to 3.921 percent. (Yonhap)