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Seoul shares down for third day ahead of Powell's testimony

By Yonhap

Published : June 21, 2023 - 16:09

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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 slid for the third consecutive session Wednesday, as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve chairman's congressional testimony. The local currency went down against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index slipped 22.28 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 2,582.63.

Trade volume was moderate at 644.16 million shares worth 10.21 trillion won ($7.9 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 678 to 207.

Retail investors scooped up a net 624.8 billion won worth of local shares, while foreign investors and institutions offloaded a net 611.4 billion won.

"As the rising momentum is limited in major economies like South Korea and the US, stock markets are seeing some respite," analyst Han Ji-young at Kiwoom Securities said, expecting Fed Chair Jerome Powell to make hawkish remarks in front of Congress, which is likely to further dampen market sentiment.

Overnight, all three major US equity indexes ended in negative territory, as Powell is set to make congressional testimony Wednesday and Thursday that might provide clues as to when and if the US central bank will resume its monetary tightening campaign. The Fed has warned more rate hikes could come by the year-end to tame high inflation.

In Seoul, most large-cap issues closed lower.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics slid 1.26 percent to close at 70,500 won, and SK hynix shed 0.86 percent to 115,100 won.

Top battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 0.53 percent to 558,000 won, and Samsung SDI declined 1 percent to 695,000 won.

Steel giant Posco Holdings fell 0.91 percent to 382,500 won, and leading chemicals producer LG Chem lost 2.17 percent to 723,000 won.

Auto stocks gained ground, with Hyundai Motor going up 1.57 percent and Kia adding 1.59 percent.

LG Electronics added 1.05 percent to 125,000 won, and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 1.37 percent to 222,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,292 won against the US dollar, down 11.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)