Seoul shares down for 3rd day on China’s export curbs, Fed minutes

South Korean stocks closed down for a third straight day Thursday as investors gauged potential impacts after China said it plans to restrict exports of some key metals used in semiconductors and the U.S. central bank reaffirmed more interest rate hikes ahead. The local currency inched down against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 22.71 points, or 0.88 percent, to finish at 2,556.29. Trading volume was high at 524.7 million shares worth 10.2 trillion won (US$7.83 billion) with decliners far outpacing gainers 751 to 151.

Foreigners sold a net 164.5 billion won worth of local equities, with institutions unloading a net 423.3 billion won.

Individual investors were net buyers at 551.2 billion won.

Tech stocks were among the biggest decliners for the day, with top-cap Samsung Electronics sliding 0.56 percent to 71,600 won. Chip giant SK hynix dipped 2.49 percent to 113,800 won.

"U.S. chip stocks like Micron Technology that took a hit from China's export curbs announcement, obviously affected our tech stocks," Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. said.

On Monday, China's commerce ministry said it will impose restrictions on exporting gallium and germanium used in chips, solar panels and electric vehicles, starting Aug. 1, to protect its national security, requiring its exporters to apply for special state permits.

China is a major global producer and exporter of these minerals.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's June minutes, released Wednesday (local time), show that the underlying position of Fed officials stands quite hawkish, Han added.

"So what's at stake for the stock market will eventually be whether the Fed will carry out an additional rate hike after the July meeting," he said.

The Fed is widely expected to raise its interest rate in its policy meeting next month. In June, it put a pause on the rate hike campaign after 10 consecutive rate increases in an aggressive monetary tightening campaign aimed at taming runaway inflation.

Most big-cap shares on KOSPI ended in negative terrain.

Top battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 0.35 percent to 565,000 won. Steel giant POSCO Holdings closed down 2.23 percent to 394,000 won.

Auto stocks gained. Leading automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.49 percent to 206,500 won and its smaller affiliate Kia gained 1.02 percent to 89,000 won.

Internet portal provider Naver and platform giant Kakao finished strong, soaring 4.83 percent to 195,500 won and 4.20 percent to 50,900 won, respectively.

The local currency ended at 1,300.90 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.3 won from Wednesday's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

scroll to top