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Seoul shares end higher ahead of US rate decision

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

Seoul shares ended higher Tuesday helped by tech and auto gains, with investors awaiting the Federal Reserve's rate decision and major firms' earnings results this week. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 9.27 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,412.96. Trading volume was moderate at 409.32 million shares worth 6.15 trillion won ($4.7 billion), with gainers outstripping losers 442 to 358.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 48.7 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock purchases valued at 47.9 billion won.

All eyes are now on the upcoming rate decision by the US central bank Wednesday amid rising inflation and earnings results by tech heavyweights, such as Apple. Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung Electronics Co., analysts said.

The Fed is widely expected to raise borrowing costs by 0.75 percentage point this week. That would put the US benchmark rate in a range of 2.25-2.5 percent, the highest since 2018 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tech and auto stocks led gains, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 1 percent to 61,700 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbing 0.5 percent to 100,500 won, and No. 2 carmaker Kia Corp. gaining 0.2 percent to 82,500 won.

Among decliners, national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. fell 0.2 percent to 25,050 won, and state utility Korea Gas Corp. declined 0.6 percent to 36,700 won, with leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. losing 0.4 percent to 137,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,307.60 won against the US dollar, up 6.10 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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