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Seoul stocks open lower ahead of US Fed meeting

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on 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 8.25 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,653.03 points as of 9:15 a.m.

Stocks traded bearish, led by losses in tech companies that are usually more sensitive to borrowing costs, while financial heavyweights advanced.

The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its policy interest rates in March. Investors are waiting for the Fed's signal for clues about further interest hikes and policy tightening for the rest of the year in its two-day monetary meeting to be held Tuesday and Wednesday (US time).

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged up 0.14 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix decreased 1.28 percent.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor shed 2.37 percent, and giant battery maker LG Energy Solution dipped 6.01 percent. Financial large cap KB Financial Group added 0.73 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,237.1 won to the US dollar, down 5.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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