The Korea Herald


Seoul shares end lower ahead of US economic data

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 27, 2024 - 16:10

    • Link copied

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 more than 0.8 percent lower Tuesday as investors were in cautious mode ahead of the release of major US economic data later this week. The local currency gained ground against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index retreated 22.03 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,625.05.

Trade volume was slightly heavy at 567.4 million shares worth 12.4 trillion won ($9.3 billion), with decliners sharply beating gainers 745 to 149.

Institutions led the decline by unloading local shares worth 50.6 billion won, while individual and foreign investors purchased stocks worth 34.8 billion won and 167.1 billion won, respectively.

Overnight, the US stock market closed lower on profit taking following a rally last week.

Investors were also paying close attention to the release of the core personal consumption expenditures price index Thursday, an indicator closely monitored by the Federal Reserve.

"Upward momentum deriving from the government's value-up program ended yesterday and investors have become more cautious ahead of planned remarks by Fed officials later this week, including those in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Chicago and Cleveland," Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said.

The "value-up" program refers to the South Korean government's plan to boost the corporate value of South Korean companies by providing bold incentives, including various tax incentives.

In Seoul, most big-cap stocks ended in negative terrain.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 0.14 percent to 72,900 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slid 4.94 percent to 153,800 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 1.47 percent to 403,500 won, its smaller rival Samsung SDI retreated 2.56 percent to 381,000 won, and POSCO Future M fell 2.67 percent to 309,500 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, also edged down 0.21 percent to 238,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia decreased 1.75 percent to 112,600 won. Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor's auto parts making affiliate, plunged 3.11 percent to 233,500 won.

Hybe, the K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, also shot down 7.13 percent to 202,000 won despite robust 2023 sales.

Among the few gainers, major bio company Celltrion jumped 4.74 percent to 190,100 won, and aircraft engine maker Hanwha Aerospace soared 7.76 percent to 179,100 won on stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The local currency ended at 1,331.00 won against the greenback, inching up 0.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)