Seoul shares trim earlier gains late Mon. morning amid hope of Fed’s rate pause

Seoul shares trimmed earlier gains late Monday morning as investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve not to raise interest rates this month due to signs of slackening in the U.S. labor market.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10.99 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,612.35 as of 11:20 a.m.

The May U.S. jobs report cemented bets for the Fed's rate pause in June as it hinted there are signs of labor-market slackening despite an increase in hiring, analysts said.

Labor market slack is the unmet demand for employment within a given population.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 199.68 billion won (US$152 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock selling valued at 194.17 billion won.

In Seoul, auto, airline and energy stocks led gains.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.5 percent, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. climbed 2.2 percent, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. added 0.7 percent and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was up 0.4 percent.

Among decliners, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.5 percent and the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. shed 1.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,309.30 won against the dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 3.6 won from a session earlier.

Source: Yonhap News Agency