Seoul Stocks Fall Over 1% Led by Tech and Battery Sector Losses

SEOUL - The South Korean stock market experienced a significant decline on Friday, influenced by losses in the semiconductor and battery sectors. This downward trend mirrored the overnight losses of U.S. market leaders such as Nvidia and Tesla. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed with a loss of 1.19 percent, settling at 2,505.01 points.

According to Yonhap News Agency, trading volume was moderate, with 504 million shares traded, amounting to 8.6 trillion won (approximately US$6.59 million). The market saw more losers than winners, with 489 stocks declining against 386 that recorded gains. Institutional and foreign investors led the sell-off, with a net sale of 586.6 billion won in local shares, overshadowing the net purchase of 561.4 billion won by individual investors.

An analyst from Shinhan Securities, Choi Yoo-jun, noted that the decline in Tesla and Nvidia's shares adversely affected investor sentiment towards South Korean chipmakers and battery manufacturers. Nvidia and Tesla saw their shares drop by 2.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, as U.S. investors engaged in profit-taking.

In the local market, battery companies suffered significant losses. LG Energy Solution's shares fell by 5.72 percent, while Samsung SDI experienced a 5.3 percent drop. POSCO Future M, a battery material provider, also saw its shares decrease by 3.24 percent. Other major companies such as LG Chem and SK Innovation reported declines in their stock prices.

Samsung Electronics, a leading memory chipmaker, and its rival SK hynix also faced losses, dropping by 1.1 percent and 0.97 percent, respectively. Mobile carriers such as SK Telecom and KT were not spared, with their shares declining as well.

However, defense companies like Hanwha Aerospace and Korea Aerospace Industries saw an uptick in their stock prices.

The South Korean won weakened against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,305.8 won. Bond prices fell, with the yield on three-year Treasurys increasing slightly.

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