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Seoul shares close nearly flat as investors search for clues over rate direction

By Yonhap

Published : May 28, 2024 - 16:11

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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 closed nearly flat after choppy trading Tuesday as investors waited for clues over the direction of the US rate decision. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index edged down 0.14 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,722.85.

Trade volume was moderate at 432 million shares worth 11.3 trillion won ($8.31 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 467 to 401.

Foreigners bought a net 45.4 billion won worth of local shares, while individuals shed a net 145 billion won. Institutions scooped up a net 111.3 billion won.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed flat as investors searched for signals for the US key rates and hinted Seoul shares may gain momentum, considering improving external conditions.

"The sluggish performance of the Kospi, affected by the traditional semiconductor sector, seems to be excessive considering South Korea's export data, even if there are issues, including those related with Samsung's high-bandwidth memory supply to Nvidia," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

There have been media reports that Samsung's HBM chips had failed to pass tests by the US chip giant Nvidia due to heat and power issues.

Shares closed mixed across the board.

Top tech giant Samsung Electronics moved up 0.52 percent to 77,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.5 percent to 202,500 won.

Leading battery firm LG Energy Solution fell 1.23 percent to 360,000 won, and Samsung SDI shed 2.53 percent to 404,500 won.

Foodstuff makers closed bullish, with Samyang Foods moving up 3.65 percent to 539,000 won and Orion rising 0.11 percent to 93,700 won.

Top chemical firm LG Chem lost 1.39 percent to end at 391,000 won, and cosmetics giant Amorepacific slid 1.87 percent to 178,400 won.

The local currency ended at 1,358.5 won against the greenback, up 5.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)