The Korea Herald


Seoul shares up for 3rd day ahead of Fed meeting

By Yonhap

Published : May 2, 2023 - 16:16

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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 higher Tuesday to extend their winning streak to a third day ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this week. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 22.86 points, or 0.91 percent, to finish at 2,524.39. Trading volume was moderate at 691.3 million shares worth 9.79 trillion won ($7.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 638 to 248.

Foreigners bought a net 341.8 billion won of local equities, with institutions snapping up a net 228.1 billion won. Individual investors sold off a net 551.2 billion won.

US stocks ended nearly flat Monday after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it is buying First Republic Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the wake of the collapse of regional banks in the US.

"The US government and private sector are making efforts to curb the repercussions from the banking crisis, and it's appropriate to say that it is working positively," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

The Fed is expected to raise the interest rate by another 0.25 percentage point at the end of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting Wednesday in what could potentially be the latest move in its aggressive monetary tightening to tame inflation.

"The Fed that somehow provided fodder for the banking crisis is expected to end its rate hike cycle at the May FOMC and decide whether it will lower the interest rate within this year as it watches the impact," Han said.

Shares gathered ground across the board in Seoul, with tech and chemical blue-chips leading the gains.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 0.31 percent to 65,700 won. Top battery maker LG Energy Solution advanced 1.72 percent to 591,000 won.

Battery components maker Posco Future M jumped 5.22 percent to 352,500 won after winning a megadeal to supply cathodes, a key electric vehicle battery material, to LG Energy Solution.

Auto shares also ended higher. Industry leader Hyundai Motor climbed 2.03 percent to 201,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia rose 2.84 percent to 86,900 won.

Bio shares closed lower. Samsung Biologics lost 1.79 percent to 767,000 won, and Celltrion fell 0.21 percent to 160,400 won.

No. 1 container shipper HMM slid 1.47 percent to 20,100 won.

The local currency ended at 1,342.10 won against the US dollar, down 4.4 won from Friday's close.

The South Korean financial markets were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. (Yonhap)