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Seoul shares open almost flat on China woes, Fed's rate remarks

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

South Korean stocks turned a tad higher after a weak start Tuesday, amid concerns over China's strict COVID-19 lockdowns and hawkish remarks by US Federal Reserve policymakers on rate policy outlooks.

After starting lower, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 0.95 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,409.22 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Protests across China against the government's aggressive COVID-19 lockdowns have sparked worries over the world's second-largest economy as Beijing has yet to show any sign of an exit from its zero-COVID-19 policy.

Hard-line comments from US Federal Reserve officials pointing to more interest rate hikes through next year sent Wall Street ending the session lower.

In Seoul, major stocks traded mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.3 percent, with leading chemical producer LG Chem sliding 0.7 percent.

Top battery maker LG Energy Solution was up 0.5 percent, and chip giant SK hynix added 0.4 percent.

The local currency had been trading at 1,337.80 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 2.4 won from Monday's close. (Yonhap)

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