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Seoul stocks open steeply lower on estimate-beating US inflation data

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened steeply lower Friday due to the stronger-than-expected US inflation data.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) fell 27.95 points, or 1.01 percent, to trade at 2,743.98 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Kospi dropped as the US consumer price index for January was up 7.5 percent, higher than the market consensus.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite decreased 2.1 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.47 percent.

Tech stocks, usually more sensitive to borrowing rates, retreated on investors' worries about the Fed's policy tightening.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.53 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.93 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver moved down 1.51 percent, and LG Chem declined 2.42 percent. Bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics shed 3.22 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,200.65 won against the US dollar, down 4.15 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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