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Seoul shares end lower ahead of Fed minutes release

May 21, 2024 - 16:44 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 ended lower Tuesday ahead of a release of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 17.96 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 2,724.18.

Trade volume was moderate at 547.5 million shares worth 10.02 trillion won ($7.3 billion), with losers beating winners 585 to 290.

Individual investors purchased a net 501.7 billion won worth of local shares, while foreigners sold 165.3 billion won and institutions dumped 328.4 billion won.

Institutions purchased a net 397.5 billion won worth of local shares to push up the index, while individual investors sold a net 365.6 billion won and foreigners dumped a net 30 billion won.

Overnight, major US stock indexes closed mixed, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 0.7 percent to hit a record high on chip rally and S&P 500 up 0.1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.5 percent lower.

Experts said investors remained cautious waiting for the first-quarter earnings report by artificial intelligence chip giant Nvidia and the minutes of the Fed's May meeting Wednesday.

In Seoul, most big-cap shares ended in the negative territory.

Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics lost 0.63 percent to 78,400 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 1 percent to 192,000 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution slid 2.02 percent to 364,500 won, and its smaller rivals Samsung SDI and Posco Future M both plunged 2.95 percent to 411,500 won and 263,000 won, respectively.

Steel giant Posco Holdings retreated 1.87 percent to 393,500 won, and top chemical producer LG Chem dropped 1.79 percent to 384,500 won.

Auto shares were mixed.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1 percent to 253,000 won, but its smaller affiliate Kia went down 0.44 percent to 114,400 won.

IT services company Samsung SDS jumped 4.99 percent to 166,100 won.

The local currency ended at 1,363.30 won against the greenback, down 7.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)