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Seoul shares end nearly flat amid signs of cooling US inflation

Nov. 16, 2023 - 17:24 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean shares closed nearly flat Thursday amid signs of cooling US inflation. The local currency gained ground against the US dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 1.51 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 2,488.18.

Trade volume was slim at 401.6 million shares worth 6.61 trillion won ($5.09 billion), with gainers outnumbering loser 546 to 311.

Foreigners purchased a net 458 billion won worth of local shares while institutions offloaded a net 62.4 billion won. Individual investors net sold 394.4 billion won worth of shares.

The Kospi opened a tad higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street following reports of a lower-than-expected US producer price index in October, one day after the United States registered the slowest increase in consumer prices in the same month since 2021.

"The slowing of inflation, which has long provided the basis for tight monetary policy, helped reinforce beliefs that the US Fed's rate hikes have in fact ended, creating an upward momentum for the stock market," said Hwang Joon-ho, an analyst at SangSangIn Investment & Securities.

Seoul shares closed mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.83 percent to 72,800 won, while leading battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 1.99 percent to 442,500 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 1.26 percent to 184,800 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia surging 3.68 percent to 84,500 won.

Top portal operator Naver lost 1.22 percent to 203,000 won, with top mobile carrier SK Telecom slipping 0.39 percent to 51,100 won.

The local currency closed at 1,296.90 won per dollar, up 3.90 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)