Seoul shares hit all-time excessive amid expectation of dovish stance from US Fed

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South Korean stocks closed at an all-time high on Monday as investors expect the US Federal Reserve to reiterate its support for accommodative policies in this week’s monetary policy meeting. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kopsi) rose 2.81 points or 0.09 percent to close at 3,252.13 points, marking the highest closing price ever.

Trading volume was moderate, with roughly 1.6 billion shares valued at around 15 trillion won ($ 13.4 billion), with the losers numbering 443 out of 406 winners.

Foreigners sold 25 billion won net and institutions dumped 333 billion won net, while private investors bought 354 billion won.

The Kospi won for the third straight year on optimism that the US price hike in May was likely a temporary phase that did not prompt the Fed to consider curtailing its asset-buying programs.

Stocks traded in a tight range throughout the session as investors hold onto their money looking for further evidence of a potential slowdown in the world’s largest economy. The stock exchanges in China and Hong Kong are closed due to public holidays.

“Investors held on to their wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC meeting and held the stock index almost unchanged,” said Seo Sang-young, analyst with Mirae Asset Securities.

In Seoul, market leader Samsung Electronics fell 0.62 percent to 80,500 won, and chip maker No. 2, SK hynix, lost 0.78 percent to 127,000 won.

The Internet portal operator Naver increased by 3.89 percent to 387,000 won, and the pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics increased by 0.95 percent to 853,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 0.21 percent to 238,000 won, and chemical leader LG Chem was down 2.71 percent to 827,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,116.7 won against the US dollar, 5.9 won less than at the end of the previous session. (Yonhap)