South Korean stocks closed nearly unchanged on Tuesday as tech blue-chips recovered from earlier losses. Investors are waiting to hear what US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will say about monetary policy at a forum this week. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index slipped 0.03 percent to close at 2,581.39. Trading volume was moderate, with gainers slightly outnumbering decliners. Analysts believe Powell’s remarks could further weigh on stocks, although it may only be temporary. The recent sharp fall of Tesla’s stock on Wall Street has added volatility to secondary battery-related stocks. Investors have remained cautious after Powell indicated that US interest rates may need to be raised again this year, which dampened hopes for interest rate cuts. Tech heavyweights on the Kospi started lower but later erased some of the losses. Bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.28 percent, while top battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 0.53 percent. Auto shares on the Kospi closed higher, with Hyundai Motor rising 2.74 percent and Hyundai Mobis climbing 4.07 percent. State-run utility company Korea Electric Power Corp. also soared due to prospects for a turnaround after electricity fee hikes. The local currency ended slightly higher against the US dollar.
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