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Seoul shares open lower amid earnings concerns

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

South Korean stocks opened lower Wednesday, as concerns over corporate earnings, set to be released starting next week, weighed on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 15.37 points, or 0.65 percent, to trade at 2,364.02 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Companies are expected to announce their fourth-quarter earnings results beginning next week, with the market consensus leaning toward lackluster performances in some sectors.

Tech heavyweights and financial stocks drove down the Kospi, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics falling more than 1 percent and battery maker Samsung SDI slipping 1.2 percent.

Shinhan Financial, a major banking group, dipped more than 2.5 percent, and its rival, Hana Financial, also slumped 3 percent.

Top chemical producer LG Chem, in contrast, gained 0.2 percent, and Naver, the internet portal giant, rose 0.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,238.10 won against the US dollar, up 0.6 won from Tuesday's close. (Yonhap)

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