In anticipation of this week’s expected U.S. rate decision, investors watched developments carefully as South Korean markets nearly closed flat on Wednesday. The local currency fell in value compared to the dollar.
To end the day at 2,559.74, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 0.53 points, or 0.02 percent.
With 407.3 million shares changing hands for 7.4 trillion won ($5.6 billion), trading volume was a little weak, and decliners outnumbered gains 517 to 353.
Local shares were bought by individuals and institutions for 88.9 billion won and 50.2 billion won, respectively, while foreign investors liquidated their holdings for a net loss of 166.6 billion won.
On the eve of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement, which is anticipated to maintain rates at current levels, all three U.S. major indices ended lower on Tuesday (U.S. time).
However, the market anticipates that the U.S. central bank will raise rates one more time this year as increased oil prices are expected to increase inflation and slow down economic development.
A day before the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the stock markets were negatively impacted by a rise in U.S. bond yields, according to Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.
Big-cap stocks traded unevenly in Seoul.
One of the biggest chipmakers in the world, Samsung Electronics, fell 0.29 percent to 69,600 won, and the No. 2 chipmaker, SK Hynix, fell more than 1 percent to 118,000 won.
Bio and IT stocks also finished in the red.
Naver, which runs an internet portal, lost 0.91 percent of its value to 217,500 won, and Kakao, which runs the largest mobile messenger in the nation, lost 1.57 percent of its value to 47,100 won.
Celltrion dropped 0.21 percent to 145,300 won while Samsung Biologics dropped 1.01 percent to 118,000 won.
In contrast, shares of batteries and automobiles increased.
Leading battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution saw a 0.6 percent increase to 499,500 won, while Samsung SDI, a smaller rival, saw a 0.9 percent increase to 563,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor had a 2.58 percent increase to 194,900 won, while smaller subsidiary Kia saw a 2.52 percent increase to 81,400 won and Hyundai Mobis saw a 2.32 percent increase to 242,500 won.
Shares of the POSCO group were also good.
The world’s largest steelmaker POSCO Holdings increased by 0.17 percent to 594,000 won, POSCO Future M increased by 3.66 percent to 411,000 won, and POSCO International increased by 2.39 percent to 81,300 won.
The Korean won fell 1.6 won from Tuesday’s close to conclude the day at 1,330.10 won to the US dollar.