Seoul: Stocks end lower as investors await Fed meeting outcome

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks closed lower on Wednesday, following a sell-off in Wall Street overnight, as most investors kept to the sidelines ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting. The won ended nearly unchanged, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The benchmark Kospi ended down 19.67 points or 0.64 per cent at 3,047.50, reversing a 0.71 per cent gain on Tuesday. It dropped over 1 per cent in early trade, tracking declines in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones overnight as yields on longer-maturity US Treasury bonds ticked up.

"(Investors') eyes are all-in on FOMC. The decline (in Kospi) narrowed from early trade, but uncertainties are still high," said Kiwoom Securities' analyst Seo Sang-young.

The US central bank's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will end a two-day meeting later in the day.

In South Korea, technology giant Samsung Electronics and peer SK Hynix dropped 0.60 per cent and 0.36 per cent, respectively, while battery maker LG Chem slid 3.59 per cent.

Foreigners were net sellers of 526.2 billion won (S$626.7 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 802.56 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 912, the number of advancing shares was 406.

The won ended at 1,130.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.04 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,129.7.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,129.7, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,129.7.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 110.65.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield was flat at 1.177 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 3.7 basis points to 2.137 per cent.


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