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Seoul shares open lower amid woes over Fed's drawn-out rate hike cycle

Sept. 22, 2023 - 09:54 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks started lower Friday, tracking an overnight tumble on Wall Street, amid concerns the US Federal Reserve will keep its restrictive monetary policy in place for longer than expected.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 21.67 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,493.30 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

All three US stock indexes fell on Thursday as investors' risk appetite dwindled after the Fed hinted it may go for another rate hike later this year after a rate-freeze decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.08 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.82 percent, and the S&P 500 retreated 1.64 percent.

In Seoul, big-cap tech shares echoed the losses of its peers on Wall Street.

Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 memory chipmaker in the world, declined 0.44 percent, while its rival SK hynix lost 1.55 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution dropped 0.82 percent, and its smaller rival Samsung SDI lost 0.93 percent.

Auto shares also lost ground, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor down 1.25 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia down 0.88 percent.

Steel giant Posco Holdings lost 1.56 percent, its battery component-making unit Posco Future M declined 1.38 percent, and its energy trading unit Posco International dropped 1.13 percent.

Leading chemical producer LG Chem also slid 1.52 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,340.00 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 0.3 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)