The Korea Herald


Seoul shares dip over 1% on rate woes

By Yonhap

Published : May 24, 2024 - 15:58

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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)

South Korean stocks closed lower for the fourth consecutive day Friday on deepening concerns over a possible delay in US rate cuts. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 34.21 points, or 1.26 percent, to close at 2,687.60.

Trade volume was moderate at 491.3 million shares worth 12.01 trillion won (US$8.8 billion), with losers sharply outnumbering winners 618 to 263.

Foreigners and institutions dumped local shares worth 377.4 billion won and 853.3 billion won, respectively, while individual investors went for bargain hunting, buying 1.2 trillion won worth of stocks.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.5 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite went down 0.4 percent as hotter-than-expected economic reports raised speculation the Fed could keep its rate high for longer.

Lee Jae-won, an analyst at Shinhan Securities, said hawkish comments by Fed officials in the latest Fed minutes and stronger US economic reports deepened concerns over interest rates, noting foreigners withdrew funds from the Korean market.

A series of economic reports showed Thursday that US price pressure had increased and the labor market was still strong.

In Seoul, big-cap shares lost ground across the board.

Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics plunged 3.07 percent to 75,900 won on a foreign media report that its latest high-bandwidth memory chips had failed to pass tests by the US artificial intelligence chip giant Nvidia.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix also dropped 0.7 percent to 198,600 won, ending its recent rally.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution retreated 1.66 percent to 356,000 won, and its smaller rivals Samsung SDI and Posco Future M lost 1.11 percent and 2.68 percent to 401,000 won and 254,500 won, respectively.

Bio and auto shares were also weak.

Bio giant Samung Biologics slid 2.47 percent to 751,000 won, and Celltrion pulled back 1.96 percent to 179,900 won.

Top automaker Hyundai shed 1.47 percent to 267,500 won, and its auto parts making affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, plummeted 2.64 percent to 221,500 won.

Internet portal Naver also shed 1.7 percent to 179,000 won, and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, went down 2.2 percent to 44,450 won.

The local currency ended at 1,369.50 won against the greenback, down 7.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)