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Seoul shares almost flat ahead of Powell remarksBy Yonhap
Published : June 27, 2023 - 16:39
South Korean stocks closed almost flat Tuesday, as tech blue-chips pared earlier losses, with eyes on what US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will say about monetary policy at a forum this week.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index slipped 0.81 points, or 0.03 percent, to finish at 2,581.39. Trading volume was moderate at 528.7 million shares worth 8.36 trillion won ($6.42 billion) with gainers outnumbering decliners 437 to 430.
"Powell's remarks due later this week could further weigh on stocks, though it may be temporary," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. said.
"From a sectoral point of view, Tesla's sharp fall on Wall Street added volatility to secondary battery related stocks," Han said.
Investors have remained cautious after Powell said last week that US interest rates will need to be raised once or twice more this year, dampening hopes for the beginning of interest rate cuts.
Eyes are on what Powell will say about the Fed's hawkish monetary tightening and the economy feared to go into recession as he is due to appear at a forum in Portugal on Wednesday.
Tech heavyweights on Kospi started lower, echoing the decline in their US peers on Monday, before erasing some of the losses in the later trading hours.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.28 percent to 72,600 won, while top battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 0.53 percent to 561,000 won.
Tesla slumped more than 6 percent Monday after Goldman Sachs became the latest brokerage to downgrade the electric carmaker's rating to "neutral," from "buy," citing an overvaluation from the recent rally.
Auto shares on Kospi closed higher. Hyundai Motor rose 2.74 percent to 206,000 won and its auto parts-making affiliate Hyundai Mobis climbed 4.07 percent to 230,000 won.
State-run utility company Korea Electric Power Corp. soared 4.72 percent to 19,980 won on prospects for a turnaround after electricity fee hikes.
The local currency ended at 1,300.30 won against the US dollar, up 6.0 won from Monday's close. (Yonhap)
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