Seoul shares rebound on dip-buying ahead of Fed meeting

SEOUL, South Korean stocks rebounded Wednesday after falling to the lowest point since January in the previous session, as investors hunted bargains ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting. The local currency fell against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 23.57 points, or 1.03 percent, to close at 2,301.56.

Trading volume was moderate at 350 million shares worth 6.66 trillion won (US4.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 636 to 251.

Foreigners dumped a net 127.2 billion won worth of local shares, and individuals sold a net 379.2 billion won. Institutions bought a net 464.2 billion won.

The Fed began a two-day monetary policy meeting Tuesday (local time), where it is widely expected to hold interest rates steady.

Eyes are on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on the central bank’s future rate policy, as he signaled earlier this month that more rate increases are still possible to bring inflation back to its 2 percent target range.

“The market advance also came after eased concerns surrounding the Middle East following reports that Hamas plans to release some of its hostages,” said Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities.

Top tech giant Samsung Electronics jumped 2.54 percent to 68,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 3.44 percent to 120,300 won.

Battery makers traded mixed, with LG Energy Solution falling 2.08 percent to 377,500 won, while Samsung SDI closed unchanged at 425,500 won.

Top portal operator Naver edged up 0.16 percent to 187,700 won after the company said it plans to retire 305.3 billion won worth of treasury stock.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motors gained 0.35 percent to 170,300 won, and its smaller sister Kia added 0.65 percent to 77,400 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved up 1.92 percent to 212,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,357.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.8 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency