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(LEAD) Seoul stocks slightly up ahead of Fed chair's speech

All News 16:40 August 27, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished higher Friday after a choppy session as investors await the comments from the chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve about its tapering timeline. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased 5.37 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at 3,133.9 points.

Trading volume was low at about 512 million shares worth some 10.9 trillion won (US$9.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 586 to 259.

Foreigners sold a net 371 billion won, while institutions bought 732 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 344 billion won.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks slightly up ahead of Fed chair's speech - 1

Volatility remained high in the local stock market as the key Fed meeting approaches. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver his remarks virtually Friday morning (U.S. time) at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole gathering.

"Investors seem to be in their wait-and-see mode for Powell's hints at the Jackson Hole meeting," Meritz Securities analyst Lee Jin-woo said.

Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.4 percent to 74,300 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 0.48 percent to 103,500 won.

Internet portal operator Naver moved down 0.83 percent to 420,000 won, and giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.73 percent to 947,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.71 percent to 208,500 won, with leading chemical firm LG Chem slumping 0.63 percent to 783,000 won. Top bank stock Kakao Bank gained 0.48 percent to 83,800 won.

The local currency closed at 1,169.2 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1 basis point to 1.408 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.9 basis point to 1.667 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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