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Seoul shares dip over 1.5% ahead of US inflation data; won sharply down at 1-month low

May 30, 2024 - 16:14 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)

Seoul shares dropped for the third consecutive session Thursday ahead of key US inflation data. The Korean won also dipped to the lowest in one month against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 41.86 points, or 1.56 percent, to close at 2,635.44.

Trade volume was moderate at 366.42 million shares worth 10.92 trillion won ($7.9 billion), with losers far outpacing gainers 680 to 197.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.06 percent to 38,441.54 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite retreated 0.58 percent to 16,920.58.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 1.23 trillion won, offsetting individuals' stock purchases valued at 1.19 trillion won.

Investors remained cautious as the United States is set to release April's core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index Friday. Earlier data showed that the US economy has expanded at a modest pace since April, lowering the chances for an early rate cut.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks declined.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 2.3 percent to 73,500 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 3.4 percent to 195,700 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 1.5 percent to 257,000 won, leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. shed 4.1 percent to 328,000 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Co. was down 1.2 percent to 20,400 won.

Among gainers, leading cosmetics firm Amorepacific Corp. rose 0.9 percent to 188,000 won, leading refiner SK Innovation Co. climbed 0.1 percent to 102,200 won, and Hybe, the K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, gained 2.4 percent to 204,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,379.40 won against the greenback, down 14.4 won from the previous session's close, the lowest since April 30, when the won ended at 1,389.40.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1.5 basis points to 3.440 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds gained 2.3 basis points to 3.488 percent. (Yonhap)