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Seoul shares close nearly flat ahead of US inflation data

July 10, 2024 - 16:04 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares closed nearly flat Wednesday as investors sat on the sidelines ahead of the release of the latest US inflation data that may give more clues on future rate directions. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index inched up 0.61 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,867.99.

Trade volume was moderate at 459 million shares worth 11.2 trillion won ($8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 432 to 423.

Foreigners sold a net 599 billion won, while individuals bought a net 278 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 307 billion won.

Analysts said investors took a wait-and-see approach as the United States is set to announce its consumer price index (CPI) for June on Thursday (US time)

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also refrained from offering more hints in rate cuts during a congressional testimony, leaving the Fed's future moves uncertain.

"Investors may be induced to seek profit as they remain alert over the US CPI as well as share prices of artificial intelligence-related firms," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

In Seoul, leading tech giant Samsung Electronics closed unchanged at 87,800 won, while SK hynix gained 0.21 percent to 239,000 won. LG Energy Solution shed 0.28 percent.

Steelmakers lost ground, with Posco Holdings losing 1.21 percent to 368,500 won and Korea Zinc decreasing 0.19 percent to 530,000 won.

Insurance firms, on the other hand, closed bullish with Samsung Life Insurance rising 3.98 percent and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance advancing 3.28 percent.

Hanwha Aerospace rose 1.79 percent to 256,500 won after the company announced that it has won a deal to supply K-9 self-propelled howitzers to Romania.

The local currency had been trading at 1,384.7 won against the greenback as of 3:30 p.m., down 3.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)