Seoul shares end higher on tech gains, Fed comments

Seoul shares ended higher Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street, buoyed by Federal Reserve officials' dovish comments on interest rates and tech gains. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 29.74 points, or 1.21 percent, to close at 2,479.82.

Trading volume was moderate at 505.19 million shares worth 8.79 trillion won (US$6.5 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 676 to 201.

Institutions bought a net 254.08 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting foreigners and individuals' combined stock selling valued at 245 billion won.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 33,804.87, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7 percent to 13,659.68.

Investors were relieved due to less hawkish comments from Fed officials despite higher-than-expected producer prices in the United States in September, analysts said.

Fed officials have said the U.S. central bank does not need to keep tightening as rates are near their peak and it needs to take a wait-and-see approach before raising rates further.

In Seoul, tech and airline stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1 percent to 68,900 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. jumped 4.2 percent to 124,200 won, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. gained 0.7 percent to 20,600 won, and leading budget carrier Jeju Air Co. was up 1.7 percent to 10,620 won.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 0.7 percent to 188,000 won, No. 3 refiner S-Oil Corp. declined 1.6 percent to 73,500 won, and state utility Korea Electric Power Corp. shed 0.8 percent to 17,510 won.

The local currency ended at 1,338.50 won against the greenback, up 0.2 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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