South Korean Stocks Dip on Battery Sector Weakness Despite Wall Street Gains

SEOUL - South Korean stocks were trading lower late Wednesday morning, led by a notable decline in battery shares, even as Wall Street indices gained overnight.

According to a news release by Yonhap News Agency, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined by 5.62 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,377.89 as of 11:20 a.m. This decline contrasted with gains in the United States, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.62 percent, the Nasdaq composite increased by 0.93 percent, and the S&P 500 climbed 0.73 percent.

In Seoul, the battery sector was at the forefront of the downturn. Industry leader LG Energy Solution lost 5.91 percent in value, despite posting solid earnings for the third quarter. Similarly, Samsung SDI fell 4.9 percent, and POSCO Future M plunged 6.23 percent following weaker-than-expected quarterly performances.

Other sectors also contributed to the decline. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped 0.15 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix saw a modest gain of 0.63 percent. Additionally, POSCO Holdings and LG Chem, leaders in the steel and chemical sectors, slid 4.64 percent and 3.35 percent, respectively.

IT stocks were not immune, with internet portal operator Naver dropping 0.11 percent. Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, saw its shares decline by 0.76 percent, attributed to executive risk.

Despite the broader downward trend, auto shares managed to gain some ground. Hyundai Motor shares rose 0.22 percent, and its smaller affiliate, Kia, increased by 0.12 percent.

At the same time, the local currency weakened against the U.S. dollar. As of 11:20 a.m., the exchange rate stood at 1,346.10 won to the dollar, down 3 won from the previous session's close.

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