KOSPI Tumbles to 10-Month Low Amid Fed Rate Hike Concerns; Won Hits 3-Week Low

SEOUL - South Korean stock markets experienced significant losses on Thursday, as fears of a possible Federal Reserve rate hike led to a sharp decline.

According to a new release by the Yonhap News Agency, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 64.06 points, or 2.71 percent, to close at 2,299.08. This is the lowest point the index has reached since January 6, when it finished at 2,289.97.

The secondary KOSDAQ index followed suit, declining 3.5 percent to 743.85. KOSPI's trading volume remained moderate, with 520 million shares valued at 9 trillion won (US$6.6 billion) changing hands. Declining stocks far outweighed those gaining, at 833 to 79. Foreign investors sold off a net 478 billion won worth of local shares, while retail investors and institutions were net buyers, purchasing shares worth 320.8 billion won and 110.6 billion won, respectively.

Several sectors felt the brunt of the sell-off. Notably, big-cap tech and battery stocks took significant hits. Samsung Electronics lost 1.91 percent, while SK hynix dropped 5.88 percent. Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution declined 2.44 percent, and its competitor Samsung SDI fell 5.05 percent. The local currency also weakened, ending at 1,360.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 10.3 won from the previous session.

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