Seoul Shares Experience Uplift Amidst Bargain Hunting Prior to Federal Reserve Meeting

SEOUL — On Wednesday, South Korean stocks witnessed a notable rebound, recovering from their lowest level since January observed in the previous session, driven by investors engaging in bargain hunting in anticipation of the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy meeting. Concurrently, the local currency witnessed a depreciation against the U.S. dollar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, market data, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) escalated by 23.57 points, culminating in a 1.03 percent increase to close at 2,301.56. The market experienced a moderate trading volume, with 350 million shares valued at 6.66 trillion won (approximately $4.9 billion) changing hands, and gainers outpacing losers 636 to 251.

The trading landscape revealed that foreign investors offloaded a net total of 127.2 billion won worth of local shares, while individual investors also sold off a net total of 379.2 billion won. In contrast, institutional investors displayed optimism, purchasing a net total of 464.2 billion won.

The focus now shifts to the Federal Reserve's ongoing two-day monetary policy meeting, which commenced on Tuesday (local time). Market participants are widely anticipating that the central bank will maintain the status quo regarding interest rates. However, there is significant interest in Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's forthcoming commentary on future rate policies, especially given his prior indication earlier in the month that additional rate hikes could be on the horizon to steer inflation back towards the central bank's 2 percent target range.

Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities, provided further insights, noting, "The market advance also came after eased concerns surrounding the Middle East following reports that Hamas plans to release some of its hostages."

In the realm of individual stocks, top technology firm Samsung Electronics witnessed a 2.54 percent increase to 68,600 won, while the second-largest chipmaker, SK hynix, experienced a 3.44 percent uplift to 120,300 won.

Battery manufacturers exhibited mixed performances, with LG Energy Solution's shares decreasing by 2.08 percent to 377,500 won, whereas Samsung SDI's shares remained steady at 425,500 won.

Leading internet company Naver experienced a slight uptick of 0.16 percent to 187,700 won, following the company’s announcement of its intention to retire 305.3 billion won worth of treasury stock.

In the automotive sector, Hyundai Motors saw a 0.35 percent increase in its shares to 170,300 won, and its affiliate Kia experienced a 0.65 percent rise to 77,400 won. Auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis also saw its shares increase by 1.92 percent, closing at 212,500 won.

The trading day concluded with the local currency positioned at 1,357.30 won against the U.S. dollar, marking a 6.8 won decrease from the previous session’s close.

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