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Seoul shares end 5-day losing streak on dovish hopes for interest ratesBy Yonhap
Published : Aug. 9, 2023 - 16:13
South Korean stocks finished more than 1 percent higher Wednesday, snapping the five-day losing streak on hopes that the Federal Reserve's further rate hikes could be over. The Korean won stayed unchanged against the US greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 31.14 points, or 1.21 percent, to 2,605.12, marking the first daily gain since Aug. 2. Trading volume was slim at 460.8 million shares worth 10.2 trillion won ($7.75 billion), with winners beating losers 563 to 322.
Foreigners scooped up a net 353.6 billion won worth of local shares, while institutions dumped a net 292.4 billion won.
Overnight, Wall Street suffered a decline in its three major stock indices due to concerns over the health of the US economy after 10 local banks had their credit ratings cut by Moody's.
But investors in Seoul focused on Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker's comments on Tuesday that the central bank could end interest rate hikes.
"The Kospi was affected by negative factors the previous day, but it rebounded today thanks to positive news like the possible end of the rate-hike cycle," said Choi Yu-joon, an analyst at Shinhan Securities Co.
The US central bank has taken a hawkish approach since March last year, raising the key rate to a range of 5.25-5.5 percent, the highest in more than 22 years, in July.
In Seoul, most market heavyweights gained ground to lend support to the index.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.92 percent to 68,900 won, and LG Electronics advanced 2.25 percent to 104,700 won.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.53 percent to 189,400 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia went up 0.77 percent to 78,900 won.
Battery shares were among the biggest winners, with industry leader LG Energy Solution jumping 5.33 percent to 553,000 won and Samsung SDI rising 3.26 percent to 634,000 won.
Leading online portal operator Naver increased 2.02 percent to 227,500 won, and Kakao grew 1.93 percent to 52,800 won, continuing their bullish run on strong second-quarter performances.
The Korean won ended at 1,315.7 won against the US dollar, unchanged from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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