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Seoul shares dip 1% on dashed rate-cut hopes

By Yonhap

Published : April 5, 2024 - 16:51

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

Seoul shares dipped 1 percent Friday as investors were disappointed with hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials ahead of US jobs data. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 27.79 points, or 1.01 percent, to close at 2,714.21. The main index has fallen 1.2 percent this week.

Trade volume was moderate at 615.09 million shares worth 11.16 trillion won ($8.2 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 633 to 244.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 587 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock purchases valued at 615.7 billion won.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.35 percent to 38,596.98 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.4 percent to 16,049.08.

Fed officials said the US central bank needs time to be confident on inflation before starting to cut rates and no rate cuts may be required this year unless inflation is in check.

Investors are now keeping an eye on Friday's US monthly jobs report as it could offer more clues on the labor market and inflation, analysts said.

In Seoul, tech, auto and energy stocks declined.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent to 84,500 won despite stronger-than-expected earnings forecast for the first quarter of the year.

The world's biggest maker of memory chips expected a first-quarter operating profit of 6.6 trillion won, up 931.3 percent from a year earlier, Samsung Electronics said in a regulatory filing.

The operating profit was 20.5 percent higher than the average estimate, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 2.8 percent to 182,800 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 0.2 percent to 225,500 won, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution was down 0.9 percent to 376,000 won.

Hanwha Aerospace Co. plunged nearly 10 percent to 212,500 won on news of its planned spin-off to focus on the defense business.

Among gainers, the country's leading shipbuilder HD Hyundai rose 1.4 percent to 71,200 won, leading cosmetics firm Amorepacific Corp. climbed 1.1 percent to 133,800 won, and refiner S-Oil Corp. jumped 4.8 percent to 83,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,352.80 won against the greenback, down 5.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.9 basis point to 3.329 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds declined 1 basis point to 3.368 percent. (Yonhap)