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Seoul stocks open lower on US rate hike woes

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Thursday as the US Federal Reserve minutes stoked concerns that the Fed may push harsher-than-expected rate hikes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 13.69 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,940.28 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a lackluster start, tracking the overnight Wall Street tech plunge.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 3.34 percent overnight and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.07 percent amid concerns that higher interest rates could reduce corporate margins.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics decreased 0.26 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.4 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver retreated 1.83 percent, with its rival Kakao shedding 3.79 percent. Banking top cap Kakao Bank advanced 1.26 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,200.1 won to the US dollar, down 3.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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