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Seoul shares fall on foreign selling despite overnight US gains

April 23, 2024 - 16:08 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks finished slightly lower Tuesday as foreign investors took profit despite overnight gains on Wall Street. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 6.42 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,623.02. Trade volume was moderate at 316 million shares worth 9.43 trillion won ($6.84 billion). Winners, however, outpaced losers 671 to 403.

Foreign investors sold a net 288.8 billion won, while institutions and individuals combined bought a net 267.7 billion won worth of shares.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.9 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 1.1 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 percent, as investors looked forward to positive first-quarter corporate earnings reports this week.

Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said there still remained "variables to consider to be fully confident of an upward trend of the market."

He added that cautious investor sentiment surrounding scheduled earnings reports of major domestic companies, such as SK hynix and Hyundai Motor, could limit the Kospi's upward momentum for the time being.

Tech shares extended their losses from the previous session, with market heavyweight Samsung Electronics falling 0.79 percent to 75,500 won and chip rival SK hynix dropping 0.35 percent to 171,000 won.

Steel and battery shares also retreated, with top steelmaker Posco Holdings falling 0.89 percent to 391,000 won and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution sliding 2.25 percent to 370,000 won.

Energy and chemical shares lost ground as well, with top refiner SK Innovation falling 1.99 percent to 108,400 won and leading chemical company LG Chem dropping 1.59 percent to 372,000.

Entertainment giant Hybe fell 1.18 percent, following news of its managerial dispute with ADOR, the subsidiary label behind K-pop girl group NewJeans.

In contrast, financial and auto shares gained ground, with Kookmin Financial advancing 1.01 percent to 70,200 won and top automaker Hyundai Motor rising 1.84 percent to 249,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,378.3 won against the greenback, up 0.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)