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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Kospi tumbles to hit month-low on Fed’s hawkish outlook

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Screens in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul show the stock market closing at 2,514.97 points on Thursday, down 1.75 percent, or 44.77 points, from the previous trading session. [YONHAP]
Screens in Hana Bank’s trading room in central Seoul show the stock market closing at 2,514.97 points on Thursday, down 1.75 percent, or 44.77 points, from the previous trading session. [YONHAP]

Stocks closed sharply lower Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish outlook on its monetary policy heavily dampened investors’ sentiment. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi lost 44.77 points, or 1.75 percent, to finish at 2,514.97. It closed at the lowest point since Aug. 23.

Trading volume was a little thin at 384.6 million shares worth 7.7 trillion won ($5.7 billion), with decliners far outpacing winners 796 to 116.

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Overnight, the Fed left its key rate steady at between 5.25 percent and 5.50 percent after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, but raised the possibility of another rate hike later this year in its pursuit of robust employment and price stability.

“We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate, and we intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving down sustainably toward our objectives,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said.

“Asian stock markets underperformed overall due to concerns over the lengthening of the United States’ monetary tightening stance,” Mirae Asset Securities analyst Kim Seok-hwan said.

“In particular, the slide in U.S. tech shares sparked by the Fed’s hawkish stance weighed down on local semiconductor and secondary battery stocks.”

In Seoul, major shares fell across the board.

Samsung Electronics lost 1 percent to 68,900 won and SK hynix dropped 1.3 percent to 116,500 won.

LG Energy Solution was down 2.5 percent to 487,000 won and Samsung SDI plunged 4.4 percent to 538,000 won. LG Chem dived 4.7 percent to 525,000 won.

Posco Holdings retreated 2.9 percent to 577,000 won and Posco Future M fell 3.2 percent to 398,000 won.

Hyundai Motor retreated 1.5 percent to 191,900 won and Kia shed 2 percent to 79,800 won.

The local currency ended at 1,339.7 won against the dollar, up 9.6 won from Wednesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 4 basis points to 3.9 percent and the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. government bonds rose 5 basis points to 4.4 percent.

BY SOHN DONG-JOO, YONHAP [sohn.dongjoo@joongang.co.kr]