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Seoul shares open higher ahead of inflation data

Sept. 12, 2023 - 09:43 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened slightly higher Tuesday, as investors await US inflation data for August due out later this week that will offer clues as to what direction the Federal Reserve will take in its interest rate hike cycle.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 2.03 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,558.91 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The United States is set to release the consumer price index for August on Wednesday, with the reading on producer prices to be released the following day.

The upcoming data is expected to provide clues about the Fed's tightening policy before the Fed's monetary policy meeting slated for Sept. 19-20.

All three US stock indexes closed higher Monday.

The electric car maker rose 10 percent on the tech-rich Nasdaq on Monday after a Morgan Stanley report predicted Tesla's market value could grow by nearly US$600 billion with its Dojo supercomputer designed for self-driving.

In Seoul, automakers got a boost, with industry leader Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia both jumping more than 1 percent, apparently buoyed by Tesla Inc.'s rally on Wall Street.

In contrast, tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics lost 0.4 percent. Big bio shares also fell, with Samsung Biologics sliding 0.4 percent and Celltrion slipping 0.8 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,326.70 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 4.4 won from Monday's close. (Yonhap)