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Seoul shares open lower amid US rate hike woes

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

Seoul shares opened lower Monday as investors are concerned that a stronger-than-expected US jobs report may lead to aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 2.34 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,431.99 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The index gained 1.08 percent last week to end at 2,434.33 Friday as the Fed suggested the central bank is heading for a slowdown of rate hikes after four successive 75 basis-point increases to tame inflation.

Individuals bought a net 97 billion won ($75 million) worth of stocks, offsetting foreigners and institutions' stock selling valued at 96 billion won.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.2 percent, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. climbed 1 percent, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. gained 2.2 percent, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. was up 0.3 percent.

Among losers, leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. declined 0.7 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,296.30 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 3.60 won from Friday's close. (Yonhap)

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