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Seoul shares open lower amid US debt ceiling woes

By Yonhap

Published : May 15, 2023 - 09:33

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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 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)

South Korean stocks opened slightly lower Monday, as growing worries over the debt ceiling standoff between the US government and Congress weighed on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index slipped 4.10 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,471.32 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Joe Biden administration and a divided Congress have yet to reach an agreement over raising the US government's $31.4 trillion borrowing limit, with the Congressional Budget Office warning Friday of significant risks of defaulting on payments in June if the debt ceiling is not raised.

US consumer sentiment slumped to a six-month low in May, adding to concerns the economy is falling into recession.

All three major US indexes finished lower Friday.

In Seoul, large-cap auto shares lost ground. Industry leader Hyundai Motor fell 0.72 percent, and its auto components-making affiliate Hyundai Mobis lost 0.5 percent.

Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics gained 0.16 percent. Top chemical maker LG Chem added 0.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,340.20 won against the US dollar at around 9:15 a.m., down 5.7 won from Friday's close. (Yonhap)