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Seoul shares open higher amid persistent rate hike woes

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 shares opened higher Tuesday on institutional buying despite persistent worries over inflation and aggressive monetary tightening in major economies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 16.51 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,613.09 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, US stocks ended mixed over the latest disappointing economic data from the US and China. Adding to investor anxiety is the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening to tackle inflation and the war in Ukraine.

The S&P500 ended 0.39 percent lower and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.2 percent, driven by losses of mega-cap technology firms. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.08 percent.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.51 percent, and major battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 0.12 percent. The country's largest chemical company LG Chem lost 0.39 percent, and internet giant Naver traded flat.

The local currency had been trading at 1,278.10 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 6.0 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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