Seoul shares shoot up nearly 2% on Fed's back
South Korean stocks soared nearly 2 percent Thursday after the US Federal Reserve held its key rate steady as widely expected overnight. The local currency sharply rose against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shot up 41.56 points, or 1.81 percent, to close at 2,343.12
Trading volume was moderate at 370 million shares worth 7.57 trillion won ($5.63 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 693 to 207.
Foreigners dumped a net 141.3 billion won worth of local shares, and individuals sold a net 438 billion won. Institutions bought a net 273.5 billion won.
Overnight, the Fed held its benchmark lending rate steady at a 22-year high for a second consecutive time as it keeps striving to bring down inflation to its 2 percent target.
"Seoul shares gained ground on the back of the Fed's less-hawkish-than-expected stance," said Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities.
In Seoul, tech giants closed bullish after US chipmaker AMD suggested rosy outlook over the artificial intelligence chip business, with top memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics advancing 1.6 percent to 69,700 won. No. 2 player SK hynix rose 4.16 percent to 125,300 won.
Battery makers also finished higher, with industry leader LG Energy Solution rising 3.71 percent to 391,500 won and its smaller rival Samsung SDI gaining 5.99 percent to 451,000 won.
Carmakers were also winners, with leading Hyundai Motors rising 1 percent to 172,000 won and its smaller sister Kia increasing 1.4 percent to 78,500 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 2.82 percent to 218,500 won.
Asiana Airlines, on the other hand, plunged 8.68 percent to 10,210 won after the company decided to sell its cargo business, as Korean Air seeks to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its takeover of the smaller rival.
The local currency ended at 1,342.90 won against the US dollar, up 14.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)