Seoul shares soar nearly 2 pct on tech, chemical gains ahead of Fed meeting

SEOUL– Seoul shares spiked by nearly 2 percent Tuesday on the back of a sharp rise in tech and chemical stocks ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 41.61 points, or 1.81 percent, to 2,335.22.

Trading volume was high at 586.7 billion shares worth 9.3 trillion won (US$6.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 709 to 152.

Institutional and foreign investors purchased a combined 686.7 billion won worth of stocks. Retail investors offloaded a net 723.2 billion won.

“Despite bearish tones on Wall Street and the country’s weak export data, the KOSPI was on course toward the 2,330-point mark led by gains in batteries, energy and nuclear shares,” said analyst Lee Kyoung-min from Daeshin Securities.

“Investors seem to have high hopes that the Fed would slow down the pace of rate hikes,” Lee added.

South Korea’s exports dropped 5.7 percent in October from the previous year, marking the first on-year decline since 2020.

In Seoul, market heavyweights ended higher on gains in batteries, chips and energy stocks.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.01 percent to 60,000 won, and rival chip maker SK hynix advanced 1.45 percent to 83,900 won.

Battery makers gathered ground. Battery maker Samsung SDI added 3.12 percent to 760,000 won, and major chemical firm LG Chem soared 11.02 percent to 695,000 won following its strong third-quarter earnings.

Doosan Enerbility, a nuclear plant components maker of Doosan Group, jumped 19.62 percent amid news Korea and Poland could partner in a nuclear reactor development project.

Auto shares were flat. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor closed at 164,500 won, and its sister affiliate Kia ended at 66,300 won.

The local currency closed at 1,417.2 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.1 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices which move inversely to yields ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 11.7 basis points to 4.068 percent while the return on benchmark five-year government bonds dipped 14.2 basis points to 4.121 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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