Seoul stock exchange declines amid inflation fears and Nvidia's poor performance

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Seoul stock exchange declines amid inflation fears and Nvidia's poor performance
Credit: © Reuters.

SEOUL - The Seoul stock exchange faced a downturn today, as the KOSPI index fell to 2,496.50 in early trading, reflecting broader concerns about persistent inflation and a disappointing quarterly report from Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ). Major South Korean companies experienced declines, with Samsung Electronics (KS: 005930 ) and SK Hynix both seeing their shares drop by approximately 1%. Similarly, Hyundai Motor (OTC: HYMTF ) and LG Energy Solution, the country's top carmaker and leading car battery manufacturer respectively, each retreated around 1%.

Despite the overall market slump, some companies managed to buck the trend. Korea Aerospace Industries saw a 0.9% rise in its shares, while Hanwha Ocean significantly outperformed with a robust increase of 6.5%. Additionally, state-run Korea Electric Power (NYSE: KEP ) Corp reported a modest gain of 0.3%.

The negative sentiment was mirrored in U.S. markets as well, with the Dow Jones and NASDAQ declining by 0.2% and 0.6%, respectively. Market bellwethers in the U.S. suffered alongside their Korean counterparts due to similar economic concerns.

The Korean won also weakened against the dollar, closing at 1,295.55 as investors anticipate potential interest rate cuts in early 2024. This depreciation marks a continued concern for the local currency, which has been impacted by global financial trends.

Investors are closely monitoring these developments as they may signal broader shifts in the global economy, particularly in light of the Federal Reserve's recent minutes highlighting ongoing inflation worries. The performance of key sectors such as artificial intelligence, where Nvidia's results fell short despite high expectations, is also under scrutiny as markets adjust to changing demand dynamics.

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