Seoul Shares Rise on Tech Gains in First Trading Day of 2024

SEOUL – Seoul's stock market experienced an uplift on Tuesday, marking the first trading day of 2024, buoyed by notable advances in technology stocks and a global inclination towards riskier investments. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) witnessed a growth of 14.53 points or 0.55 percent, culminating at 2,669.8, thereby continuing its positive trajectory for the fourth consecutive day.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the surge in Seoul's stock market was primarily driven by foreign investments in technology stocks within the Korean market. This trend was further supported by the anticipation of a possible interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which spurred interest in emerging market stocks. The trading volume was recorded at a moderate level with 404.2 million shares, amounting to a total value of 9.5 trillion won (approximately US$7.3 billion). Despite a higher number of decliners (449) compared to gainers (436), the market witnessed a net purchase of stocks by institutions and foreign investors, totaling 341 billion won. This activity effectively balanced the 346 billion won worth of stocks sold by individual investors.

The day's trading highlighted significant gains in tech, airline, and shipbuilding stocks. Market leader Samsung Electronics Co. saw its shares increase by 1.4 percent, reaching 79,600 won. SK hynix Inc., the second-largest chipmaker, experienced a 0.6 percent rise to 142,400 won. LG Display Co. observed a substantial hike of 4.8 percent, closing at 13,350 won. Additionally, gains were noted in Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent company of Korean Air Co., which jumped 7.4 percent to 78,200 won, and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. rose by 1.4 percent to 7,860 won.

Conversely, there were notable declines in some sectors. Hyundai Motor Co., the top car manufacturer, saw a decrease of 1.5 percent, settling at 200,500 won. Its affiliate, Kia Corp., experienced a 2.4 percent drop to 97,600 won. Korea Electric Power Corp., a state utility company, fell by 0.3 percent to 18,840 won, and cosmetics giant AmorePacific Corp. declined by 2.6 percent, closing at 141,200 won.

In the currency market, the Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,300.40 won, which is a decrease of 12.4 won from the previous session's close.

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