Kospi inches higher ahead of Fed meeting

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Kospi inches higher ahead of Fed meeting

A day before the U.S. Fed’s interest-rate meeting, the Kospi advanced slightly yesterday as investors took a wait-and-see attitude. The index closed at 1,925.07, up 18.65 points, or 0.3 percent.
“Though uncertainty over the U.S. Fed’s decision this week on its key interest rates weighed on market sentiment, massive institutional buying in the final minutes helped the index extend the advance,” said Kim Jung-hyun, an analyst at Goodmorning Shinhan Securities.
The Fed is widely expected to again slash the benchmark rate by 0.25 percent. Market giant Samsung Electronics was down 1.8 percent to 603,000 won ($653), becoming one of the rare blue chips to fall. The nation’s No. 1 steel maker, Posco, picked up 1.5 percent, and Hyundai Heavy Industry, the world’s largest shipbuilder, gained 2.5 percent.
SK Telecom and SK Energy, both under the wing of the SK Group, rose 4.1 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. KT, the largest operator of landline phone services, jumped 7.4 percent on news that the company would either merge with its subsidiary KTF, the nation’s second-largest mobile service operator, or adopt a holding company structure. Top automaker Hyundai Motor was up 1.5 percent. However, Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest computer memory chip maker, declined 1.9 percent.
Banking shares were also upbeat. Top lender Kookmin Bank gained 3.7 percent, Shinhan Financial Group advanced 1.7 percent and Woori Financial Group rose 2.5 percent. Trade volume was 258.3 million shares worth 4.8 trillion won. Advancing shares beat declining shares, 435 to 365.
The secondary Kosdaq, on the other hand, fell 4.86 points, or 0.7 percent, to end at 734.33. Total traded volume was 1.7 trillion shares valued at 610.9 trillion won, with losing shares outnumbering winners, 554 to 395.

By Seo Ji-eun Staff Reporter [spring@joongang.co.kr]
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