The Korea Herald


Seoul shares open higher on hopes of pause in Fed rate hikes

By Yonhap

Published : March 3, 2023 - 09:44

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South Korean stocks opened marginally higher Friday, on growing hopes that the US Federal Reserve may not raise the interest rates as aggressively as expected.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 5.75 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,433.6 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said Thursday that he believes the Fed should go "steady" on interest rate hikes, a dovish remark from someone known as one of the most hawkish policymakers.

His comment caused Wall Street to rally, shrugging off data indicating a robust U.S. economy, which the Fed has cited as the grounds for steep rate hikes.

In Seoul, the energy and materials sectors gained ground. Top refiner SK Innovation was up 1 percent, and POSCO Chemical, a battery components maker, rose more than 2.7 percent.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics slid 0.3 percent, and No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor lost about 0.6 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,310.8 won against the dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 4.8 won from Thursday's close.