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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end almost flat amid Fed uncertainties

All News 16:56 November 02, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields in bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks ended nearly flat Wednesday as investors remain uncertain over the Fed's upcoming policy meeting. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 1.65 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,336.87.

Trading volume was moderate at 443.8 billion shares worth 9.4 trillion won (US$6.6 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 461 to 394.

Institutional and retail investors were sellers, offloading a combined 521.6 billion won worth of equities. Foreigners scooped up a net 495.3 billion won.

"Chips and battery shares trimmed earlier gains and weighed down the KOSPI," Lee Kyoung-min at Daeshin Securities said.

Investors are gearing up for the Fed's policy meeting results due this week amid uncertainties over whether it may open the door for a slower pace of rate increases.

"A slowdown may not lead to a market turnaround, as it only reinforces the fact that economic uncertainties loom ahead and will continue for some time," he said.

In Seoul, most large cap shares ended lower across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped 0.67 percent to close at 59,600 won.

The battery sector lost ground. Battery maker Samsung SDI slid 4.61 percent to 725,000 won, and chemical firm LG Chem retreated 3.31 percent to 672,000 won.

In contrast, portal operator Naver added 2.05 percent to 174,000 won, and messenger app operator Kakao climbed 3.16 percent to 52,300 won.

The local currency closed at 1,417.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.2 won compared with the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 2.7 basis points to 4,095 percent, while the return on benchmark five-year government bonds advanced 3.7 basis points to 4.158 percent.

Screens at a dealing room in Hana Bank shows the closing KOSPI index and won-dollar exchange rate on Nov. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

Screens at a dealing room in Hana Bank shows the closing KOSPI index and won-dollar exchange rate on Nov. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)


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