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Seoul shares open lower on US losses amid rate hike worries

Feb. 6, 2023 - 09:31 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares opened lower Monday, tracking losses on Wall Street, as the US Federal Reserve said last week it will continue to raise rates for a while to tame inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 30.8 points, or 1.24 percent, to 2,449.60 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4 percent to 33,926.01 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 1.6 percent to 12,006.95 points.

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 confident that inflation is on a downward path.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks declined.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. dropped 1.4 percent, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. shed 1 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution was down 1.9 percent.

Among gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.3 percent and leading home appliance maker LG Electronics Inc. climbed 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,247.25 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 17.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)