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Seoul stocks open lower amid rate hike, China's economic slowdown woes

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

South Korean shares opened lower Tuesday as investors remain wary over the US central bank's hawkish monetary tightening stance and China's economic slowdown amid its COVID-19 lockdown.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 9.6 points, or 0.36 percent, to reach 2,683.5 as of 9:15 a.m.

Investors fret over potential rapid rate hikes as the US Federal Reserve repeatedly signaled at an aggressive tightening policy to counter inflation.

China's continued lockdown in Shanghai over rising infection cases is feared to disrupt the global supply chain and drag down China's economy, which would dampen global economic growth.

Overnight, the US stock markets dropped. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.19 percent, and the S&P500 slipped 1.69 percent. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note inched up to 2.77 percent, the highest since early 2019.

On the Seoul bourse, big-cap tech and battery shares fell to drag down the index.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.44 percent, and key battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 1.06 percent.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix traded flat, and LG Chem decreased 1.57 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.28 percent, but its affiliate Kia fell 0.52 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,234.90 won against the US dollar, down 1.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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