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Seoul stocks open higher after Fed decision

Feb. 2, 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 Thursday (Yonhap)

Seoul shares opened higher Thursday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve delivered a small rate hike while acknowledging progress in its fight against inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 23.98 points, or 0.98 percent, to 2,473.78 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.02 percent higher at 34,092.96 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 2 percent to 11,816.32.

The Fed raised the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points Wednesday as expected, and its Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank needs "substantially more evidence" to be sure that inflation is on a downward path.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 2.8 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. rose 2.4 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. climbed 1.1 percent, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. gained 0.4 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution was up 1 percent.

Among decliners, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. fell 0.3 percent, budget carrier Air Busan Co. declined 0.8 percent, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. shed 0.9 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,221.05 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 10.25 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)