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Seoul shares open marginally higher after US inflation rout

An electronic board showing the Kospi at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Kospi at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened marginally higher Thursday, after the previous day's steep fall on fears of further aggressive rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve following the strong US inflation data.

The benchmark Kospi was up 1.51 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,412.93 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Wall Street managed to end higher Wednesday after wavering between gains and losses, as investors chose to take a pause following the market jolt over the stronger-than-expected US consumer price index for August.

The inflation data dented hopes that the Fed may scale back its aggressive monetary tightening and possibly ease up on the future rate hikes after next week's rate-setting meeting.

Analysts believe the Fed will go with a .75 percentage-point increase this month, with some betting on a full percentage-point hike.

In Seoul, shares traded mixed. Top-cap Samsung Electronics fell about 0.2 percent, while leading automaker Hyundai Motor gained over 1 percent.

Steel giant POSCO Holdings dipped more than 3 percent. Battery makers gathered ground, with LG Energy Solution rising 0.2 percent and Samsung SDI advancing 1.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,394.20 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 3.3 won from Wednesday's close. (Yonhap)

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