The Korea Herald


Seoul shares close tad higher ahead of key US jobs data

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 6, 2023 - 17:22

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An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks closed slightly higher Friday ahead of the US payrolls data release. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 5.13 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,408.73.

Trading volume was slim at 284.6 million shares worth 6.36 trillion won ($4.71 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 652 to 220.

Foreigners sold off a net 325.4 billion won worth of shares, continuing their selling streak for the 11th consecutive trading day, while retail investors and institutions bought a net 137.9 billion won and 179.8 billion worth of shares, respectively.

Overnight, all three US indexes slipped as investors were on edge ahead of the monthly non-farm payrolls data to be released later in the day, which will be a decisive factor in forecasting whether the Fed will keep its rates in place next month or go for another hike.

"The Kospi's rise was limited, as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the release of the US employment report for September," Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said.

Lee said the job data is expected to show a slowdown in job growth, easing pressure on the Fed to go for a further rate hike.

In Seoul, top-cap shares traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.05 percent to 66,000 won, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.17 percent to 120,400 won.

Auto shares were strong.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.89 percent to 192,200 won and its affiliate Kia jumped 2.04 percent to 85,200 won thanks to reports they decided to adopt Tesla's electric vehicle charging ports in the US.

IT and financial stocks also ended in positive terrain.

Internet portal operator Naver rose 0.79 percent to 190,900 won, and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, advanced 2.94 percent to 42,050 won.

KB Financial Group soared 4.1 percent to 55,800 won, Shinhan Financial Group jumped 3.06 percent to 35,350 won, and Hana Financial Group shot up 4.65 percent to 42,800 won.

Bio shares also gained ground, with Samsung Biologics up 1.11 percent to 731,000 won, and Celltrion up 3.95 percent to 137,000 won.

But battery shares ended in negative terrain.

Industry leader LG Energy Solution lost 0.75 percent to 464,000 won and its smaller rival Samsung SDI retreated 1.64 percent to 481,000 won.

Energy shares ended in positive terrain.

Industry leader LG Energy Solution rose more than 2.5 percent to 467,500 won, and its smaller rival Samsung SDI added 0.93 percent to 489,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,349.90 won against the greenback, up 0.6 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 6.6 basis points to 4.015 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds lost 7.5 basis points to 4.105 percent.

South Korean stock, ETF, derivatives and commodity markets will all be closed for the next three days, as Monday is the Hangeul Day holiday, which celebrates the proclamation of the Korean alphabet. (Yonhap)