The Korea Herald


Seoul shares down for 5th day; Korean won sharply falls

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 8, 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 Tuesday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks ended lower Tuesday as investors took a wait-and-see approach amid concerns over additional rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and China's worse-than-expected trade data. The local currency sharply fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 6.73 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,573.98, extending its losing streak to a fifth day. Trading volume was moderate at 631.5 million shares worth 12.3 trillion won ($9.3 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 643 to 250.

All three major US stock indexes finished higher Monday, snapping their worst weekly decline since March, on upbeat corporate earnings.

The decline can be attributed to market jitters over the US' additional rate hikes and increased signs of a strain in the Chinese economy, Choi Yu-joon, an analyst at Shinhan Securities Co., said.

A Fed official has said multiple rate hikes could be required as inflation is still significantly above the Fed's 2 percent target.

On Tuesday, data showed China's exports fell by a sharper-than-expected rate of 14.5 percent in July from a year earlier.

Foreign investors and institutions dumped local shares worth 136.2 billion won and 442.1 billion won, respectively, while retail investors bought 556.1 billion won worth of shares.

In Seoul, big-cap shares traded mixed.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics dropped 1.31 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 2.71 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver was among the biggest losers, going down 4.9 percent. Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, lost 1.71 percent, and its financial arm, KakaoBank, retreated 1.57 percent.

Bio stocks also ended in negative territory, with Samsung Biologics losing 0.38 percent and Celltrion falling 0.67 percent.

Battery shares, however, performed well.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution rose 2.14 percent.

Posco Holdings jumped 6.42 percent, its battery component-making affiliate Posco Future M gained 1.82 percent and its energy trading unit Posco International shot up 13.87 percent.

Auto shares also gained ground, with Hyundai Motor inching up 0.21 percent and its affiliate Kia gaining 0.9 percent. Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor's auto parts affiliate, went up 0.44 percent.

The Korean won ended at 1,315.7 won against the greenback, down 9.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)