SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares finished higher Wednesday, with investors paying close attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve's upcoming rate decision. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 24.72 points, or 1.02 percent, to close at 2,449.8 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 651 million shares worth some 8.4 trillion won (US$6.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 512 to 347.
Foreigners bought a net 197 billion won, while institutions sold 196 billion won, and retail investors offloaded 16 billion won.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the previous session up 1.09 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.67 percent.
The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 0.25 percentage point to a new range of 4.5 percent to 4.75 percent Wednesday (U.S. time).
Investors are hoping for signs of slower policy tightening by the Fed.
"In addition to the technical rebound after the recent weak sessions, caution against the upcoming FOMC results and the quarterly corporate earnings seem to have affected the stock prices," Kiwoom Securities analyst Han Ji-young said.
In Seoul, tech and auto shares led the KOSPI's gains, with chip giants especially boosting the overall market on hopes for an upturn in demand.
The KOSPI's top cap, Samsung Electronics, rose 1.31 percent to 61,800 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.28 percent to 91,400 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 1.8 percent to 170,000 won.
Leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution added 0.19 percent to 522,000 won, and another battery heavyweight Samsung SDI surged 5.11 percent to 720,000 won.
Chemical giant LG Chem shed 0.29 percent to 688,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,231.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.6 won from the previous session's close.
Sumber : yna.co.kr
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