Seoul shares extend gains late morning after U.S. gains

SEOUL– Seoul shares extended gains late Friday morning, tracking Wall Street gains, with investors awaiting key U.S. inflation data this week for clues as to whether the Federal Reserve could slow down its aggressive monetary tightening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 12.54 points, or 0.53 percent, to 2,383.62 as of 11:20 a.m.

A better-than-expected U.S. jobs report and service sector activity released earlier this week weighed on consumer sentiment amid concerns that the Fed may keep policy tightening to tame runaway inflation.

Now all eyes are on Friday’s (U.S. time) producer price index for November as it is one of the major pieces of data Fed officials will see before the Dec. 13-14 policy meeting, analysts said.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 138 billion won (US$105 million) worth of stocks in net value, offsetting individuals’ stock selling valued at 141 billion won.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. jumped 2.7 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.3 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was up 1.2 percent.

Among decliners, the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. fell 0.2 percent, No. 2 wireless services provider KT Corp. declined 0.4 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 3.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,306.90 won against the greenback as of 11:20 a.m., up 11.10 won from the previous day’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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