Seoul stocks nearly flat amid Ukraine woes, hawkish Fed

SEOUL– South Korean stocks closed nearly unchanged Monday, as investors remained wary about the uncertainties related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the hawkish stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 0.42 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,729.56 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 755 million shares worth some 9.7 trillion won (US$7.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 428 to 425.

Institutions bought a net 77 billion won, and retail investors purchased 194 billion won, while foreigners sold 273 billion won.

Stocks got off to a lackluster start as the Ukraine-Russian tensions continue to stoke concerns about high commodity prices and inflation growth.

Investors are also bracing for the Fed’s aggressive policy tightening, with multiple key officials slated to speak later this week.

Investors are expecting the Fed may mark up its policy rates sharply for the rest of 2022 to vent the high-flying inflation pressure.

Most large caps closed lower in Seoul, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics sliding 0.14 percent to 69,700 won and chemical giant LG Chem retreating 0.57 percent to 533,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver shed 0.45 percent to 331,500 won, and battery behemoth LG Energy Solution lost 0.57 percent to 436,500 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 118,000 won.

Among gainers, leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 0.29 percent to 174,500 won, and bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics advanced 0.49 percent to 823,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,227.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys soared 24.2 basis points to 2.747 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond surged 25.7 basis points to 2.970 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

scroll to top