Seoul Market Dips Ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman’s TestimonyIncheon Legislator Resigns from Democratic Party in Nomination DisputePresident Yoon Discusses Strategic Alliance with CSIS Leadership

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.

Incheon – Representative Hong Young-pyo has formally resigned from the Democratic Party (DP), marking the sixth departure in a wave of protests over the party's candidate nomination process for the upcoming April general elections. As a seasoned legislator and ally to former President Moon Jae-in, Hong expressed his discontent following his exclusion from the DP's nominations for the Incheon's Bupyeong B district seat.

According to Yonhap News Agency, his departure was driven by frustrations with the DP's internal nomination procedures, which he and other critics have characterized as biased towards the party's current leadership under Chairman Lee Jae-myung. Hong criticized the party for prioritizing internal loyalty over electoral success, labeling the nomination process as exclusionary and detrimental to the party's democratic values.

Hong, who had significant roles within the DP, including serving as a former floor leader, voiced skepticism about the DP's electoral prospects and hinted at potential collaborations with other dissenting lawmakers and the New Future Party, led by former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. He emphasized the necessity of uniting opposition forces to critique both the current DP leadership and the administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol, indicating a possible realignment in the nation's political landscape ahead of the elections.

Seoul - In a significant diplomatic engagement, President Yoon Suk Yeol welcomed the head of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), John Hamre, for discussions that underscored the enduring partnership between South Korea and the United States. The meeting, which took place at the presidential office, facilitated a deep dive into the dynamics of the bilateral alliance and pertinent international concerns.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the dialogue with Hamre and accompanying experts was rooted in recognizing CSIS's instrumental role in fostering the South Korea-U.S. alliance through various initiatives, including annual forums and the establishment of the Korea Chair. President Yoon articulated a vision for the alliance's progression towards global stability and prosperity, emphasizing the significance of sustained U.S. support and advocating for an influential role for CSIS in this trajectory. Hamre reciprocated with affirmations of the U.S. commitment to South Korea's strategic ambitions and assured continued CSIS collaboration in nurturing the alliance. The meeting also featured prominent figures such as Victor Cha, Matt Pottinger, and Allison Hooker, highlighting the assembly's strategic importance.

scroll to top