Seoul Stocks Surge Following Record Highs on Wall StreetMajor Fire Destroys 227 Stores at Seocheon’s Traditional MarketSouth Korea Allocates 100 Billion Won for Reshoring Companies in 2024

SEOUL – South Korean stocks opened with notable gains on Tuesday, buoyed by the strong performance of U.S. shares that reached record highs due to increasing optimism about the U.S. economy. In the early trading session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) registered an increase of 9.84 points, or 0.4 percent, climbing to 2,474.19.

According to Yonhap News Agency, this surge in Seoul's stock market follows a robust showing on Wall Street, where major indexes hit all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up by 0.36 percent, reaching a new peak, while the SandP 500 also set a record high with a 0.22 percent rise. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index followed suit, gaining 0.32 percent.

In Seoul, major players in different sectors showed mixed results in the early trading. Samsung Electronics, the leading technology firm, opened unchanged. SK hynix, the second-largest chipmaker in South Korea, saw a decline of 1.33 percent. However, LG Energy Solution, a prominent battery manufacturer, experienced a 1.08 percent increase in its stock value.

The automotive sector also witnessed a positive start. Hyundai Motor, the industry leader, advanced by 1.55 percent, while its affiliate Kia Motors reported a 0.57 percent gain. Hyundai Mobis, an auto parts supplier, added 1.01 percent to its stock value. Additionally, IT giants in the region started the day on a high note, with Naver rising 0.69 percent and Kakao, the operator of KakaoTalk, South Korea's top mobile messenger, enjoying a 0.71 percent increase.

The South Korean currency, the won, was trading at 1,339 won against the U.S. dollar, marking a slight decrease of 0.1 won from the previous session's close. This trend reflects the broader impact of global economic sentiments on the South Korean financial market.

SEOUL – A large fire at a marine products market in the central county of Seocheon resulted in the destruction of 227 shops, officials reported on Tuesday. Thankfully, there were no human casualties.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the fire started at 11:08 p.m. on Monday. Firefighters, numbering 361 and supported by 45 fire engines, brought the major flames under control within two hours. The blaze was completely extinguished by 7:55 a.m., as stated by officials. Although no one was inside the market at the time of the fire, out of a total of 292 stores, 227 were destroyed, including all 121 shops selling marine goods. Fortunately, the annex building housing agricultural products was not affected.

Authorities noted the difficulty in extinguishing the fire, attributing it to the dense structure of the traditional market and strong winds present at the time. Local officials issued warnings to residents about potential risks from toxic gases near the market. Fire authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire and assessing the extent of the damage.

SEJONG – The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced plans on Tuesday to allocate 100 billion won (US$74.6 million) in 2024 to aid local businesses in relocating their production facilities back to the country from abroad.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The Ministry stated that this funding represents a 75 percent increase from the 57 billion won allocated in 2023. In addition to financial support, South Korea aims to offer extended discounts on corporate taxes for up to 10 years, an increase from the previous seven-year limit. For businesses investing in strategic sectors like semiconductors, displays, batteries, and vaccines, the government will provide enhanced subsidies. Investments outside the greater Seoul area in these industries will receive a 45 percent subsidy, up from 21 percent, while those within the greater Seoul area will be eligible for a 26 percent subsidy. Park Duk-ryul, the director-general for cross-border investment policy, emphasized the significance of these returning businesses in advanced industries, highlighting their role in invigorating the regional economy through investment, employment, and export growth.

scroll to top