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Seoul stocks open steeply lower on FOMC results, Russia-Ukraine risk

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened steeply lower Thursday as investors digest the US central bank's policy meeting results and the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) retreated 26.94 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,682.3 points as of 9:18 a.m.

Stocks came off to a weak start after the US Federal Reserve chief signaled rate hikes in March.

The escalating Russia-Ukraine political tensions also sapped the investor appetite for risky assets.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite inched up 0.02 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.38 percent.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.55 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.85 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver declined 0.8 percent, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 1.05 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,202.95 won against the US dollar, down 5.25 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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