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Seoul stocks open lower on US jobs data

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Monday as an estimate-beating improvement in US jobs data increased concerns about an early tapering.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) fell 15.98 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,254.38 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment weakened as US jobs data in July logged a steeper hike than the market consensus, fueling investor worries that the US Fed may pivot from its dovish stance and consider accelerating its timeline for rolling back its accommodative policies.

Most large caps got off to a lackluster start, while bank and financial shares advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.61 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix moved down 1.27 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver slipped 0.11 percent, and giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.87 percent.

Kakao Bank, the online-bank unit of mobile messenger app Kakao Talk, surged 13.04 percent on its second day of trading. Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.12 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,147.25 won against the US dollar, down 5.15 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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