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Seoul shares open sharply lower amid waning hope for early rate cuts

By Yonhap

Published : April 19, 2024 - 09:30

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

South Korean stocks started sharply lower Friday amid expectations over a delay in US interest rate cuts this year.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 37 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,597.7 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.06 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq decreased 0.52 percent, extending losses for a fifth consecutive month.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams has said that he feels no urgency to cut rates, amid looming speculation that the Fed may not lower the rates in the near future.

In Seoul, top tech giant Samsung Electronics moved down 1.88 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 3.18 percent.

Battery makers lost ground, tracking overnight losses of US EV giant Tesla, with LG Energy Solution falling 1.86 percent and Samsung SDI losing 1.23 percent.

Financial firms led the decline as well, with KB Financial falling 2.03 percent and Shinhan Financial decreasing 1.43 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motors, on the other hand, gained 0.22 percent, and its sister Kia remained unchanged from the previous session.

The local currency was trading at 1,383.5 won against the greenback, down 10.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)