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Seoul stocks open nearly flat on US inflation data

Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened nearly flat Thursday as investors digest high-flying inflation data in the United States, a factor that could hasten the Federal Reserve's tapering.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged up 1.08 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,973.56 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a muted start as the US consumer price index showed a 7 percent increase in December, the highest on-year jump in almost four decades.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite inched up 0.23 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11 percent, as the inflation woes have been largely on stock prices.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics slipped 0.13 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.78 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver moved up 0.58 percent, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 0.47 percent.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.58 percent, and electric car battery maker LG Chem declined 3.75 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,187.8 won against the US dollar, up 2.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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