The Korea Herald


Seoul shares almost flat ahead of US inflation data

By Yonhap

Published : May 13, 2024 - 16:47

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

South Korean stocks ended almost flat Monday as investors were cautious ahead of the release of US inflation data set to be released later this week. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 0.42 point, or 0.02 percent, to 2,727.21.

Trade volume was slightly heavy at 614.2 million shares worth 12.9 trillion won ($9.4 billion), with losers outpacing winners 481 to 380.

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained ground for the fourth consecutive week, and the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted increases for the third straight week.

But on Friday, Wall Street closed mixed as investors faced different signals for the Federal Reserve's policy direction amid sticky inflation data and hawkish comments by Fed officials.

Investors are now awaiting the release of the US producer price index for April on Tuesday (local time) and the consumer price index on Wednesday.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. slid 1.01 percent to 78,400 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. jumped 2.17 percent to 183,800 won.

Battery shares were also mixed, with industry leader LG Energy Solution down 0.52 percent to 381,500 won and its smaller rival Samsung SDI up 0.93 percent to 433,000 won.

POSCO Future M was down 1.6 percent to 276,000 won.

Auto and financial shares gained ground.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.45 percent to 245,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia inched up 0.18 percent to 114,300 won.

KB Financial Group and Hana Financial Group soared 2.9 percent and 2.42 percent to 81,600 won and 63,600 won, respectively.

Major shipbuilders also rallied.

HD Hyundai Heavy Industries shot up 5.28 percent to 143,500 won, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering surged 4.93 percent to 136,300 won, HD Hyundai Marine Solution went up 7.09 percent to 193,400 won and Hanwha Ocean jumped 4.9 percent to 33,200 won.

But IT shares lost ground.

Internet portal operator Naver plunged 2.28 percent to 184,300 won amid a continued row over the Line messenger application, and Kakao went down 1.67 percent to 47,000 won.

K-pop powerhouse Hybe also plummeted 3.84 percent to 192,800 won amid an ongoing dispute with a sublabel, ADOR.

The local currency ended at 1,368.20 won against the greenback, down 0.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)