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Seoul shares dip over 1% amid US rate uncertainties

By Yonhap

Published : May 9, 2024 - 16:03

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

South Korean shares declined by more than 1 percent Thursday as investors remained concerned over the future course of the US key rates ahead of the release of inflation data next week. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 32.91 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,712.14.

Trading volume was moderate at 413 million shares worth 10.9 trillion won ($7.95 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 531 to 355.

Foreign investors offloaded a net 354 billion won worth of local shares, snapping their seven consecutive sessions of buying. Retail investors purchased a net 415 billion won, while institutions sold a net 75.9 billion won.

Overnight, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins said that reaching the target inflation of 2 percent may take longer than previously thought.

"Susan Collins' hawkish comments raised concerns about prolonged monetary tightening, dampening investors' appetite for risky assets," said Lee Jae-won, an analyst from Shinhan Securities.

Analysts also attributed the decline to the expiration of options.

Top tech giant Samsung Electronics moved down 1.97 percent to 79,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.46 percent to 175,400 won.

South Korea's top online portal operator Naver dropped 1.36 percent to 188,300 won amid Japan's pressure on the firm following last year's data leakage incident.

Carmakers finished sharply lower as well, with Hyundai Motors losing 2.07 percent to 237,000 won and its sister Kia losing 3.71 percent to 111,700 won.

Energy firms, on the other hand, closed bullish, with Korea Electric Power Corp. rising 1.4 percent to 21,800 won and Korea Gas advancing 1.27 percent to 27,950 won.

The local currency closed at 1,370.1 won against the greenback, down 8.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)