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Seoul stocks open lower ahead of Fed meeting

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 investors took to the sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) fell 18.49 points, or 0.65 percent, to 2,815.8 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks traded bearish, led by losses in chemical and tech companies that are usually more sensitive to borrowing costs.

The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its policy interest rate in March. It is to convene a two-day meeting until Wednesday (local time), which is expected to give clues on where the Fed's monetary policy will be headed in the coming weeks.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics traded unchanged from the previous session, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix decreased 0.42 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver moved down 0.75 percent, with its rival Kakao losing 1 percent. Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics declined 0.61 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,194.3 won to the US dollar, down 0.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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