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Seoul stocks open lower on inflation worries

Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Friday, tracking US stock losses over concerns of faster-than-expected inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 13.17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,273.05 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank would support an accommodative stance as the current inflation is expected to wane. But the comment fell short of reducing the tapering jitters in the financial markets.

Overnight, the Nasdaq Composite slumped 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 retreated 0.33 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.15 percent.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.74 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.81 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver moved down 0.67 percent, while giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 1.03 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.65 percent, but leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 0.73 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,142 won against the US dollar, down 0.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)