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Seoul shares open lower on Fed's minutes

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)

Seoul shares opened lower Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street, as the US Federal Reserve may keep up its aggressive monetary tightening amid global recession woes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 24.69 points, or 0.98 percent, to trade at 2,491.78 points as of 9:15 a.m.

In the Fed's latest minutes, released Wednesday (US time), policymakers expected the economy to expand in the second half of 2022 and made it clear that they intend to continue raising rates enough to slow the economy and combat inflation.

The US central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points in July for a second straight time.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 84 billion won ($64 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock purchases valued at 83 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks declined across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.8 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 2.6 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.9 percent.

Among gainers, Hanjin KAL Corp., parent of national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co., rose 0.6 percent, the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. climbed 1.7 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. gained 0.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,315.05 won against the US dollar, down 4.75 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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