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Seoul shares close lower ahead of US Fed meeting; won sharply down

June 10, 2024 - 16:10 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 shares closed lower Monday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting later this week. The local currency sharply lost ground against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 21.5 points, or 0.79 percent, to close at 2,701.17.

Trade volume was moderate at 499.3 million shares worth 11.16 trillion won ($8.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 499 to 381.

Retail investors scooped up a net 553.8 billion worth of shares, with foreigners also purchasing a net 18.9 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 567.9 billion won.

The KOSPI had opened sharply lower, tracking losses on Wall Street on Friday caused by stronger-than-expected employment data that weakened hopes for a US rate cut.

The US Federal Reserve is set to hold its rate-setting meeting Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Short-term losses are inevitable this week amid a rise in bond rates and a strong US dollar due to firm US jobs data," Daishin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

Most large caps finished in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics plunged 2.07 percent to 75,700 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.24 percent to 208,000 won.

Top chemicals maker LG Chem dropped 3.01 percent to 370,500 won, with leading pharmaceutical company Celltrion retreating 0.84 percent to 189,500 won.

Battery makers also suffered heavy losses, with industry leader LG Energy Solution slipping 1.67 percent to 353,000 won and its local rival Samsung SDS plummeting 4.57 percent to 154,600 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.94 percent to 267,500 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors advanced 0.25 percent to 121,400 won.

The local currency closed at 1,376 won against the US greenback, down 10.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)