Seoul shares pare gains late morning amid concerns over monetary tightening

SEOUL-- South Korea's stock market pared early gains and traded sideways late Wednesday morning as investors remain jittery over the global economy's direction and monetary policy at home and abroad.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.19 points, or 0.01 percent, to trade at 2,435.53 as of 11:20 a.m.

Investors are bracing for more monetary tightening policy at home, along with the possibility of hawkish remarks from the United States later this week.

The Bank of Korea is widely expected to raise its interest rate by 0.25 percentage point at a policy meeting Thursday. The U.S. Federal Reserve will hold its annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday (U.S. time), where Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a speech.

Overnight, the U.S. stock market ended slightly lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.47 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.22 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed flat.

In Seoul, the stock market opened slightly higher, but lost ground late morning, with most large-cap stocks down.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics remained flat and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.21 percent. Leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 0.34 percent and top chemical firm LG Chem retreated 2.42 percent.

Among gainers, Samsung SDI rose 0.34 percent while leading internet firm Naver gained 0.21 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,340.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.0 won from the previous session's close. The won ended at 1,345.5 won against the greenback Tuesday, the lowest figure since April 28, 2009.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Recent POSTS