Seoul Shares End Four-Day Winning Streak Amid Federal Reserve’s Rate Path Concerns

Seoul, South Korea – Seoul shares closed lower on Friday, ending a four-day winning streak, amid global market uncertainties and concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy direction. The Korean won also weakened against the U.S. dollar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 18.33 points, or 0.73 percent, closing at 2,496.63. Trading volume was relatively low, with 352.2 million shares worth 6.38 trillion won (approximately US$4.9 billion) traded, and gainers slightly outnumbered decliners.

Institutional and individual investors purchased a combined 194 billion won worth of stocks, partially offsetting foreign sales valued at 221.5 billion won. Market sentiment has been affected by expectations around the Federal Reserve's rate hikes and speculation on potential rate cuts in 2024. However, recent Fed minutes indicated no immediate plans to ease monetary policy, contributing to investor caution.

Among large-cap stocks, Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, Hyundai Motor, and LG Energy Solution all saw declines. Conversely, KG Mobility (formerly SsangYong Motor), Korea Electric Power Corp., and Hyundai Steel recorded gains.

The Korean won was valued at 1,306.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.9 won from the previous session. Bond prices fell, with yields on three-year Treasurys rising 3.3 basis points to 3.677 percent and those on five-year government bonds climbing 4.4 basis points to 3.721 percent.

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