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Seoul shares open lower amid rate hike woes

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 17, 2023 - 09:40

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Seoul shares opened lower Friday as traders assessed the impact of more hotter-than-expected US inflation data on the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening policy down the road.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 18.92 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,456.56 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, Wall Street closed down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.26 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shedding 1.78 percent. The S&P 500 retreated 1.38 percent.

January's producer price index, released Thursday, rose a higher-than-expected 0.7 percent. Initial jobless claims fell for the week ending Feb. 11, suggesting the US economy is holding up despite continued rate hikes, and that the Fed could continue its tightening campaign to bring down inflation.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks got off to a weak start.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 1.1 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.97 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution went down 1.46 percent, and Samsung SDI retreated 1.63 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.5 percent, and its affiliate Kia lost 0.65 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,292.50 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 7.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)