Stocks little changed ahead of the U.S. Fed meeting
Stocks ended down for the third straight session Wednesday, as investors awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting for signals on the speed of its monetary tightening. The won rose against the dollar.
The Kospi shed 2.89 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,677.57.
Trading volume was moderate at about 11.5 billion shares worth some 9.7 trillion won ($7.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 594 to 272.
Institutions sold a net 149.0 billion won, while foreign and retail investors bought a net 32.4 billion won and 96.7 billion won, respectively.
The market opened higher, buoyed by an overnight Wall Street rise, but it pared earlier gains with the index going through a choppy session throughout the day.
Market participants widely expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by half a percentage point Wednesday to tackle high inflation.
The Fed is also expected to outline a plan to shrink its bond holdings, a move also known as quantitative tightening that will make money in the market more expensive.
"Investors will look for a clue on whether there will be any change in the Fed's overall stance on rate hikes and quantitative tightening rather than focusing only on the immediate results of the (Wednesday) meeting," Park Kwang-nam, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.
Samsung Electronics rose 0.59 percent to 67,900 won, and Naver closed flat at 282,000 won.
Chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.45 percent to 109,500 won, Samsung Biologics lost 2.04 percent to close at 815,000 won, and LG Energy Solution shed 1.47 percent to 401,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,266.30 won against the dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session.
The Kosdaq declined 7.51 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 900.06 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 7.9 basis points to 3.217 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 1.1 basis points to 2.96 percent.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [email@example.com]