Seoul Market Dips Ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman’s Testimony

Seoul – The Seoul stock market concluded Wednesday's trading session on a lower note as investors braced for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's forthcoming remarks, which are anticipated to shed light on the future interest rate trajectory in the U.S. Market sectors such as technology and chemicals were primary contributors to the day's losses, while the Korean won held steady against the dollar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 7.91 points to close at 2,641.49, reflecting a 0.3 percent decrease. Trading volume was modest, with 364 million shares exchanged, amounting to a total value of 9.8 trillion won. Market dynamics showed a bearish trend, with 606 stocks declining compared to 282 advancers.

Foreign investors offloaded South Korean shares worth 374.4 billion won, reversing their prior eight-session purchasing streak. In contrast, individual investors stepped in to buy 533.6 billion won worth of shares, whereas institutional investors were net sellers, disposing of 211.9 billion won in stocks.

Market analysts attribute part of the day's cautious sentiment to investor reactions to the outcomes of a recent policy meeting in Beijing, which failed to meet expectations for robust stimulus measures and innovative industrial strategies. Comments from Jerome Powell's scheduled address to the U.S. Congress are highly anticipated, given the context of recent market jitters following a downturn in Wall Street's performance.

In company-specific movements, electronics powerhouse Samsung Electronics saw its share price decrease by 1.09 percent, while semiconductor firm SK hynix experienced a 1.75 percent decline. The energy sector also faced pressure, with LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI witnessing slight decreases in their stock values. Conversely, LG Chem and SK Innovation from the chemical sector reported notable losses.

Despite the overall market downturn, there were bright spots, particularly in the aerospace industry. Shares of Hanwha Aerospace surged by 10.09 percent, and Korea Aerospace Industries enjoyed a 5.69 percent increase, buoyed by optimistic prospects for the space sector.

The South Korean won concluded the trading day at 1,334.5 to the dollar, demonstrating stability in the foreign exchange market amid broader financial uncertainties.

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