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Seoul shares open higher amid rate hike uncertainties

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

South Korean stocks opened slightly higher Tuesday, as the market maintains a cautious mood ahead of the release of latest US inflation data this week that might offer a clue as to the Federal Reserve's next move in the monetary policy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 1.43 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,494.53 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

US stocks closed almost flat on Monday (local time) after the country reported robust jobs data, a possible indication that the Fed could go ahead with a sharp rate hike in the September policy meeting to tame decades-high inflation.

The US consumer price data, set to be released Wednesday, is expected to provide a further clue as to whether the Fed will go easy in the aggressive monetary tightening.

In Seoul, major tech and auto shares fell, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics losing nearly 1.5 percent and top automaker Hyundai Motor retreating 0.8 percent.

In contrast, battery makers gained ground. Top player LG Energy Solution was up 2.5 percent and its rival Samsung SDI rose 1.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,302.80 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 3.6 won from Monday's close. (Yonhap)

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