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Seoul shares open lower on US losses

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 9, 2023 - 09:42

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

South Korean stocks opened lower Thursday, driven by big-cap tech losses, as US shares ended lower on concerns over the Federal Reserve's continued monetary tightening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 15.03 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,468.61 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, US shares ended lower after Fed Gov. Christopher Waller said he's "prepared for a longer fight to get inflation down" and interest rates need to remain high for some time.

New York Fed President John Williams also said the US central bank needs to maintain "restrictive" rates for a few years to curb inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.61 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.68 percent.

In Seoul, most top-cap shares opened lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.65 percent, and chip giant SK hynix sank 2 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution went down 0.92 percent, and Samsung SDI inched down 0.14 percent. LG Chem also shed 0.45 percent.

Major bio shares lost ground, with Samsung Biologics sliding 0.25 percent and Celltrion falling 0.54 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.35 percent, and its affiliate Kia lost 0.42 percent.

But leading financial firms rose. KB Financial Group added 0.9 percent, and Hana Financial grew 0.41 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,262.75 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 2.65 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)