Seoul Stock Market Rises with Gains in Chip and Auto Sectors

SEOUL - The Seoul stock market experienced an uptick late Monday morning, driven primarily by gains in the semiconductor and automotive sectors. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased by 0.22 percent, or 5.4 points, reaching 2,502.03 by 11:20 a.m.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Following mixed closures in the U.S. stock market on Friday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.33 percent and the NASDAQ fell by 0.11 percent, the Seoul market showed positive movement. This shift comes amid expectations that the Federal Reserve is approaching the end of its interest rate hiking cycle, as indicated by cooling inflation signals and a drop in the volatility index to its lowest since January 2020.

Leading the gains were semiconductor and auto stocks. While market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. remained flat, the second-largest chipmaker SK hynix Inc. saw a significant jump of 1.41 percent. Major automakers Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia also registered increases of 0.33 percent and 0.24 percent, respectively. In the IT sector, internet portal operator Naver climbed by 0.73 percent, and IT service company Samsung SDS surged by 2.26 percent. The state-run Korea Electric Power also added 1.17 percent.

Conversely, leading battery maker LG Energy Solution and its rival Samsung SDI experienced declines, along with bio shares such as Samsung Biologics and Celltrion. The local currency, the Korean won, strengthened slightly against the U.S. dollar, trading at 1,305.10 won, up 1.3 won from the previous session's close.

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