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Seoul shares close lower ahead of Fed chief's testimony

By Yonhap

Published : March 6, 2024 - 16:33

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

South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as investors awaited clues on the US Federal Reserve's future rate direction, with techs and chemicals leading the overall decline. The local currency closed flat against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 7.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,641.49.

Trade volume was low at 364 million shares worth 9.8 trillion won ($7.38 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 606 to 282.

Foreigners offloaded 374.4 billion won worth of stocks, ending their buying streak of eight consecutive sessions. Individuals, on the other hand, bought 533.6 billion won, while institutions sold a net 211.9 billion won.

US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver a testimony to Congress on Wednesday, with major shares sharply losing ground on Wall Street overnight.

Analysts said investors were also disappointed by the results of Beijing's national committee meeting held the previous day.

"The stimulus measures were lackluster, and (the committee) failed to show bold innovation in terms of industrial policies," said Juhn Jong-kyu, a researcher at Samsung Electronics.

In Seoul, top tech giant Samsung Electronics moved down 1.09 percent to 72,900 won, and SK hynix slid 1.75 percent to 162,900 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution edged down 0.13 percent, and Samsung SDI shed 0.55 percent to 364,500 won.

Chemical shares closed mostly bearish as well, with LG Chem falling 2.43 percent to 441,500 won and No. 1 oil refiner SK Innovation losing 1.45 percent to 115,700 won.

Hanwha Aerospace, on the other hand, gained 10.09 percent to 204,000 won on the back of rising hope in the space industry, and Korea Aerospace Industries added 5.69 percent to 53,900 won.

The local currency ended at 1,334.5 won against the greenback, remaining flat from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)