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Seoul shares end higher ahead of Fed's rate decision; Korean won sharply up

June 9, 2023 - 16:17 By 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)

Seoul shares ended higher Friday amid expectations that the US Federal Reserve may pause its rate hike march next week. The Korean won sharply rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 30.31 points, or 1.16 percent, to close at 2,641.16.

Trading volume was moderate at 569.97 million shares worth 10.79 trillion won ($8.4 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 488 to 376.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 842 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock selling valued at 824 billion won.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent to 33,833.61 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to 13,238.52.

A jump in initial US jobless claims to the highest level in 1 1/2 years in the week ended June 3 stirred speculation that the labor market in the world's largest economy is starting to cool.

"The unemployment data gave a boost to investor hopes that the Fed will keep its policy rate unchanged at current levels next week following the softer US labor market data," according to a research note released by Heungkuk Securities.

In Seoul, tech and auto stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.6 percent to 72,000 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. jumped 5.2 percent to 115,400 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. climbed 0.2 percent to 197,100 won, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 3.1 percent to 609,000 won.

Among decliners, Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent firm of the national flag carrier Korean Air Co., fell 2.2 percent to 47,450 won, the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. declined 2.4 percent to 52,900 won, and Hanwha Ocean Co., formerly known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., shed 0.5 percent to 29,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,291.50 won against the US dollar, up 12.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)