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Seoul shares close tad higher ahead of US Fed meeting

Dec. 11, 2023 - 15:59 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)

South Korean stocks closed slightly higher on Monday as investors awaited clues over future US monetary policy directions ahead of this week's Federal Reserve meeting.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 7.51 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 2,525.36

Trade volume was moderate at 424 million shares worth 7.97 trillion won ($6 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 479 to 375.

Foreigners bought a net 4.46 billion won worth of shares, while individuals offloaded a net 197.2 billion won. Institutions scooped up a net 161.8 billion won.

"The robust US economy has elevated expectations for South Korea's key export goods, including chips and automobiles," said Kim Seok-hwan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

Analysts, however, said the growth was limited as investors sat on the sidelines ahead of this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, with its key rate anticipated to remain steady between 5.25 and 5.50 percent.

Tech shares closed mixed, with top cap Samsung Electronics moving up 0.55 percent to 73,000 won, while battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 0.46 percent to 428,500 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.1 percent to 128,900 won.

Pharmaceutical firms mostly lost ground, with Samsung Biologics losing 0.85 percent to 703,000 won, while Celltrion climbed 5.96 percent to 177,700 won.

Foodstuff makers closed higher, with CJ Cheiljedang rising 1.42 percent to 321,000 won and Orion edging up 0.09 percent to 111,400 won.

LIG Nex1, a defense company, jumped by the daily permissible limit of 29.92 percent to 128,100 won on reports that it plans to acquire shares in a US robot firm.

The local currency closed at 1,316.50 against the US dollar, down 9.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)