Seoul shares dip 1 pct on Fed rate hike woes, won sharply slides

South Korean stocks fell by almost 1 percent Friday, as investors moved to lock in profits from recent gains on concerns about high inflation and the Federal Reserve's tightening push. The local currency fell sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 23.67 points, or 0.95 percent, to close at 2,456.15, ending a two-day winning streak.

Trading volume was a bit slim at 576.69 million shares worth 7.06 trillion won (US$5.23 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 593 to 277.

The index opened lower, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street, and had been in negative terrain throughout the session.

Foreign and institutional investors sold a net 161.3 billion won and 283.07 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors bought a net 422.49 billion won worth of shares.

Data released Thursday (U.S. time) showed that the U.S. consumer price index rose at a quicker than expected rate of 3.7 percent on-year in September, fanning concerns that the Fed will deliver another interest rate hikes this year. Bond yields jumped higher.

"There remains the possibility of core CPI bouncing back in the coming months and uncertainties about global oil prices have risen due to the Israel-Palestine war. Concerns about the Fed's 'higher for longer' stance is expected to continue to affect the financial market," Park Sung-woo, an analyst at DB Financial Investment, said.

On the Seoul bourse, most big-cap shares lost ground.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.31 percent to 68,000 won after a bullish run for two days in a row after expecting better than expected third-quarter earnings, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution sank 1.93 percent to 484,000 won.

But chip giant SK hynix rose 0.4 percent to 124,700 won.

Steel giant POSCO Holdings dropped 1.16 percent to 512,000 won, and Samsung SDI went down 1.68 percent to 526,000 won. LG Chem inched down 0.19 percent to 528,000 won.

Carmakers also closed lower. Top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.48 percent to 187,100 won, and its affiliate Kia decreased 0.36 percent to 84,200 won.

Biotech firm Samsung Biologics retreated 0.96 percent to 721,000 won, and Celltrion shed 0.14 percent to 143,900 won.

Major platform operators lost ground. Internet giant Naver went down 0.93 percent to 191,800 won, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, skidded 1.03 percent to 43,200 won.

The local currency ended at 1,350.0 won against the U.S. dollar, down 11.5 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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