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Seoul shares end lower on Fed chief's hawkish comments, Tesla

Nov. 10, 2023 - 16:23 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)

South Korean stocks finished lower Friday after the US Federal Reserve's chief hinted that interest rates could be raised further and Tesla dropped overnight. The local currency fell against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 17.42 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 2,409.66.

Trading volume was slim at 304.12 million shares worth 5.61 trillion won ($4.26 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 600 to 259.

US stocks sagged overnight after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated interest rates may be hiked again if needed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.9 percent.

"Concerns of a potential rate hike and upcoming releases of economic data in the US next week, along with the federal government budget negotiations in Washington, are likely to strengthen investor sentiment towards profit-taking," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

In Seoul, most market heavyweights ended weaker. Leading automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia dropped 0.57 percent to 173,700 won and 0.65 percent to 77,000 won, respectively.

Top steelmaker Posco Holdings slumped 2.82 percent to 447,500 won, and leading refiner SK Innovation also tumbled 3.46 percent to 131,300 won.

Bio shares also went south, with SK bioscience plummeting 5.09 percent to 65,300 won and Celltrion slipping 0.51 percent to 157,200 won.

Battery-related stocks also dropped in line with a drop in Tesla after HSBC's recommendation for investors to unload shares, citing risks from CEO Elon Musk.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution plunged 4.2 percent to 411,000 won and its smaller rival Samsung SDI also dropped 4.44 percent to 420,000 won.

Chipmakers, however, added ground, with Samsung Electronics edging up 0.28 percent to 70,500 won and smaller rival SK hynix climbing 1.95 percent to 130,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,316.80 won against the US dollar, down 6.70 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)