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Seoul shares open higher amid Fed's rate pause hopes

June 5, 2023 - 09:54 By 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)

Seoul shares opened higher Monday, tracking Wall Street gains, as investors expect the US Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates this month due to signs of US labor market slackening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 13.34 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,614.70 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On June 2, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.1 percent to 33,762.76, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1 percent to 13,240.77.

The May US jobs report cemented bets for the Fed's rate pause in June as it hinted there are signs of labor-market slackening despite an increase in hiring, analysts said. Labor market slack is the unmet demand for employment within a given population.

In Seoul, auto, airline and energy stocks led gains.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 1 percent, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. climbed 0.9 percent, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. added 0.7 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was up 2 percent.

Among decliners, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.7 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 0.6 percent, KG Mobility, which was formerly known as SsangYong Motor Co., shed 1.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,310.15 won against the US dollar at around 9:15 a.m., down 4.45 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)