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Seoul stocks up for sixth day ahead of US inflation data

Jan. 11, 2023 - 16:01 By 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)

Seoul shares ended higher Wednesday, extending their winning streak to a sixth day, with investors awaiting the release of the new US consumer price index for clues on the future of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 8.22 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 2,359.53 points.

Trading volume was moderate at 359.99 million shares worth some 6.2 trillion won ($4.97 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 602 to 246.

Analysts said the Fed will likely slow the pace of its interest rate hikes if Thursday's US CPI data shows any signs of a cooldown.

"Institutions' stock purchases supported the main index though retail investors offloaded more stocks on profit-taking ahead of the key inflation report," Park Hee-cheol, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 207 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock selling valued at 206 billion won.

Tech, auto and airline stocks led the gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.2 percent to 60,500 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 0.9 percent to 87,300 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.6 percent to 164,000 won, and No. 1 refiner SK Innovation Co. moved up 3.4 percent to 153,500 won.

Among decliners, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 0.8 percent to 19,550 won, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. shed 0.9 percent to 46,500 won, and top builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. dropped 2.6 percent to 37,350 won.

The local currency closed at 1,246.20 won against the US dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)