Seoul shares up for 3rd session on Fed's rate freeze

South Korean stocks advanced for the third consecutive session Friday amid hope that the US rate-hike cycle has come to an end. The local currency sharply rose against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shot up 25.22 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 2,368.34.

Trading volume was moderate at 567 million shares worth 7.86 trillion won ($5.94 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 717 to 159.

Foreigners dumped a net 134.8 billion won worth of local shares, and individuals sold a net 302 billion won. Institutions bought a net 162.3 billion won.

The Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark lending rate steady at a 22-year high for a second consecutive time this week, boosting the global stock markets.

"South Korean shares gathered ground as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury reached the 4.6 percent level, with the Korean won rising sharply against the greenback," Kim Jee-hyun, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities, said.

Leading tech giant Samsung Electronics edged down 0.14 percent to 69,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.4 percent to 125,800 won.

Battery makers also finished higher, with industry leader LG Energy Solution rising 2.68 percent to 402,000 won and Samsung SDI advancing 0.67 percent to 454,000 won.

Chemical shares closed sharply higher as well, with LG Chem rising 3.4 percent to 471,000 won and oil refiner SK Innovation jumping 7.45 percent to 137,100 won. Cosmetics maker Amorepacific increased 1.19 percent to 133,300 won.

Top portal operator Naver shot up 5.08 percent to 200,500 won as well after the company said its third-quarter net profit jumped 53.8 percent from a year earlier, powered by robust growth of its commerce.

The local currency ended at 1,322.40 won against the US dollar, up 20.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)