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Seoul shares open lower amid rate hike woes

June 8, 2023 - 09:29 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 lower Thursday as investors await key US inflation data and the Federal Reserve's rate decision next week.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index ticked down 11.02 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,604.58 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, Wall Street closed mixed, as recent market rally, driven by an artificial intelligence boom, paused. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.27 percent, while the S&P 500 shed 0.38 percent and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.29 percent.

Traders are on their toes ahead of the release of the US Consumer Price Index report for May and the results of the Fed's two-day rate decision meeting, starting June 13.

Overnight, the Bank of Canada raised the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent amid stubbornly high inflation, and concerns are growing the Fed might follow suit.

In Seoul, large-cap issues fell across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.85 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.83 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 0.61 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia fell 1.1 percent. Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution declined 1.16 percent, and Samsung SDI retreated 0.95 percent. Chemical firm LG Chem went down 0.54 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,306 won against the US dollar at around 9:15 a.m., down 2.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)