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Seoul shares end lower on recession woes

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

South Korean stocks finished down Thursday amid persistent concerns that combative monetary tightening policies in major economies could drag the global economy into a recession. The local currency lost ground against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 39.60 points, or 1.8 percent, to end at 2,162.87.

Trading volume was moderate at 781 million shares worth 6.96 trillion won ($4.86 billion), with losers far outpacing gainers 842 to 73.

Institutions offloaded a net 299.2 billion won worth of shares, while foreign and retail investors bought a net 273 billion won worth of shares.

The market opened lower and extended losses as investors awaited the release of the September consumer price index, one of the key indicators that would determine the pace of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tightening going forward.

Minutes from the Fed’s September meeting, out Wednesday (US time), confirmed its hawkish stance on rate hikes until hot inflation is brought under control.

In Seoul, most big-cap shares ended lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 1.08 percent to end at 55,200 won, while SK hynix gained 0.96 percent to 94,900 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 2.08 percent to 164,500 won, while its affiliate Kia gained 0.15 percent to 68,300 won.

Major chemical firm LG Chem went down 2.71 percent to 575,000 won, and battery maker LG Energy Solution lost 1.24 percent to 477,000 won.

The Korean won finished at 1,431.30 won against the greenback, down 6.4 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

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