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Seoul stocks open lower on US tech plunge

Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Wednesday, tracking an overnight plunge on Wall Street amid heightened expectations of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 19.22 points, or 0.67 percent, to 2,845.02 points in the first 15 minutes of trading. 

On Tuesday (local time), the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.51 percent, the S&P 500 went down 1.84 percent and the Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, decreased 2.60 percent.

The retreat was led by losses in tech stocks, usually more sensitive to rate hikes compared with other sectors.

In Seoul, most large-cap shares traded lower.

Top cap Samsung Electronics decreased 0.91 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix went down 0.4 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver retreated 1.63 percent, leading chemical firm LG Chem fell 1.73 percent, and Kakao, operator of the country's most-used messenger Kakao Talk, fell 2.93 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,192.2 won against the US dollar, down 2.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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