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Seoul shares start higher on eased rate hike woes

Sept. 14, 2023 - 09:33 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)

South Korean stocks started higher Thursday as concerns over a further rate hike by the Federal Reserve were eased despite higher-than-expected US inflation data.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 12.99 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,549.69 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The US consumer price index rose 3.7 percent in August from a year earlier due to high-flying oil prices.

But analyst said the US central bank is expected to keep its key rate steady at the upcoming rate-setting meeting next week as the inflation data was highly anticipated.

In Seoul, tech and auto shares led the early increase.

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chipmaker, added 0.14 percent, and its rival SK hynix climbed 0.42 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.32 percent, and its affiliate Kia gained 0.51 percent on the management-labor management wage agreement earlier this week.

But oil refineries were among the losers, with industry leader SK Innovation falling 0.5 percent and No. 3 S-Oil losing 1.51 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,327.90 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 2.1 won from Wednesday's close. (Yonhap)