Korean Stocks Suffer 6th Day of Losses Amid Anticipation of U.S. Inflation Data

Seoul: South Korean shares closed lower for the sixth straight session on Wednesday, with investors' eyes on the upcoming U.S. inflation data. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 19.26 points, or 0.75 percent, ending the day at 2,541.98. The session saw moderate trade volume with 555.7 million shares valued at approximately 8.46 trillion won (US$6.4 billion).

According to Yonhap News Agency, the KOSPI remained in the negative throughout the day, influenced by overnight losses on Wall Street. Foreign investors sold off a net 215.5 billion won in local shares, while individual investors bought a net 351.5 billion won. Institutional investors continued their selling streak for the sixth session, offloading 140.9 billion won worth of shares.

Jeong Myeong-ji, an analyst at Samsung Securities, mentioned that investors are cautious, waiting for the U.S. December consumer price index (CPI) data. There are concerns that higher-than-expected inflation could influence the Federal Reserve's policy decisions.

In Seoul, major stocks mostly saw declines. Key technology stocks such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix saw significant drops. However, top automakers like Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors experienced gains. The local currency weakened against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,320.10 won. In the bond market, prices fell with yields on three-year and five-year government bonds rising.

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