The Korea Herald


Seoul shares rally 1.5% on strong techs, easing inflation

By Yonhap

Published : July 3, 2023 - 16:17

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

South Korean stocks rallied Monday, boosted by strong tech companies that tracked US peers and signs of inflation cooling in the US economy. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 38.19 points, or 1.49 percent, to close at 2,602.47. Trading volume was moderate at 607.3 million shares worth 8.86 trillion won ($6.77 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 606 to 269.

"The fact that the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index turned out strong despite ongoing recession worries injected hopes that the slowdown in the US economy will be limited," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

"After Samsung and LG's earnings guidance set for Friday, if we can make a case in which there will be no worse scenario for semiconductors industry, that should spur further momentum in tech stocks," Han said.

The US personal consumption expenditures index, a reading on inflation, rose 3.8 percent in May, a marked drop from a 4.3 percent rise in April, the US Commerce Department data showed, in a sign that inflation is cooling.

The core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy, inched down to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent in the same period.

Wall Street rallied Friday with all three indexes closing higher. Apple Inc. reached its $3 trillion market valuation for the first time.

Big-cap tech stocks led the Kospi's gain. Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 1.11 percent to 73,000 won, and chip giant SK hynix finished up 2.08 percent to 117,600 won.

Battery makers jumped after a report that said Tesla Inc. delivered a better-than-expected number of cars last quarter. Top battery maker LG Energy Solution shot up 3.62 percent to 573,000 won and smaller rival Samsung SDI spiked 7.17 percent to 717,000 won.

Steel and energy companies closed in the green. Steel maker Posco Holdings advanced 3.61 percent to 402,000 won and its materials making unit Posco Future M jumped 4.53 percent to 369,000 won.

Leading energy company SK Innovation closed up 3.15 percent to 163,500 won.

Bio stocks, however, ended lower. Biotech firm Samsung Biologics slid 0.13 percent to 743,000 won, and vaccine maker SK Bioscience fell 0.88 percent to 78,800 won.

Major mobile carriers also fell, with industry leader SK Telecom sliding 0.54 percent to 46,350 won and its rival KT losing 0.17 percent to 29,750 won.

The local currency ended at 1,308.00 won against the US dollar, up 9.7 won from Friday's close. (Yonhap)