Seoul shares end lower amid conflict in Middle East
Seoul shares closed lower Tuesday as investors remain cautious due to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 6.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 2,402.58. The Kospi opened higher, tracking gains on Wall Street, boosted by Federal Reserve officials' dovish comments on rates.
Trading volume was moderate at 410.31 million shares worth 9.3 trillion won ($6.9 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 626 to 259.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 percent to 33,604.65, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite gained 0.4 percent to 13,484.24.
Market watchers have expected another rate hike this year due to higher-than-expected US employment data in September, but the US central bank said the odds for further tightening have dropped dramatically amid the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Investors are keeping a watchful eye on military clashes between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, analysts said. Hamas made a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds of Israelis.
Institutions bought a net 587.38 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting foreigners and individuals' stock selling valued at 585 billion won.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks traded mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.6 percent to 66,400 won, leading home appliance maker LG Electronics Inc. jumped 7 percent to 105,100 won, and No. 1 wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. gained 2.2 percent to 49,400 won.
Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 2 percent to 188,400 won, the country's national flag carrier Korean Air Co. declined 2.6 percent to 20,500 won, and KG Mobility, formerly known as SsangYong Motor Co., shed 3.3 percent to 6,010 won.
The local currency ended at 1,349.50 won against the greenback, up 0.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)