Stocks finish up more than 1% Wednesday after slowdown in U.S. inflation

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Stocks finish up more than 1% Wednesday after slowdown in U.S. inflation

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,399.25 points on Wednesday, up 26.85 points, or 1.13 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,399.25 points on Wednesday, up 26.85 points, or 1.13 percent, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

 
Stocks finished over 1 percent higher Wednesday as a slowdown in U.S. inflation boosted hope for the Federal Reserve's less aggressive monetary tightening. The won rose against the dollar.
 
The benchmark Kospi rose 1.13 point, or 26.85 percent, to close at 2,399.25, ending a two-day winning streak.
 
Trading volume was light at 402.37 million shares worth 5.59 trillion won ($4.31 billion), with gainers outstripping decliners 632 to 226.
 
The market opened higher, tracking U.S. gains, and had maintained strong upward momentum throughout the session.
 
Institutions purchased a net 228.4 billion won and foreigners a net 220.2 billion won, while retail investors sold 453.4 billion won worth of shares.
 
The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose less than expected in November and posted the smallest annual increase in about a year, raising hope that inflation is peaking.
 
The index rose 0.1 percent from the previous month and 7.1 percent on-year, while economists forecast a 0.3 percent on-month increase and a 7.3 percent on-year rise.
 
Investors are now awaiting the results of the Fed's two-day meeting set to be released on Wednesday, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comment on its economic assessment and future policy direction.
 
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics rose 1.34 percent to 60,500 won, and LG Energy Solutions grew 0.4 percent to 498,500 won.
 
But SK hynix lost 0.61 percent to 81,800 won.

 
Bio shares gathered ground after the government issued an emergency order to increase production of acetaminophen tablets in the wake of a cold medicine shortage in winter.
 
Samsung Biologics jumped 2.07 percent to 837,000 won, and Celltrion advanced 1.68 percent to 182,000 won.
 
The won ended at 1,296.3 won against the dollar, down 9.7 won from the previous session's close.
 
The Kosdaq added 13.84 points, or 1.94 percent, to close at 729.00 points.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 9.5 basis points to 3.530 percent, and the yield on 10-year government bonds shed 6.2 basis points to 3.407 percent.

BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [cho.jungwoo1@joongang.co.kr]
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