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Seoul shares open lower amid recession fears

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 amid persistent concerns over a global economic recession.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 9.21 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,193.26 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, Wall Street closed slightly down ahead of 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, confirmed its hawkish stance on rate hikes until hot inflation is brought under control.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.3 percent, hitting the lowest since November 2020, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.1 percent.

In Seoul, most shares opened lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.36 percent, and chip giant SK hynix lost 0.53 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.89 percent while its affiliate Kia gained 0.88 percent.

Major chemical firm LG Chem went down 0.17 percent, but battery maker LG Energy Solutions rose 1.04 percent.

Scandal-ridden bio firm Sillajen, which resumed stock trading Thursday after a 2 1/2 year suspension over executives’ illegalities and other issues, soared 24.7 percent from its opening price of 8,380 won. But it was still down around 14 percent from its closing price before the suspension.

The Korean won was trading at 1,427.20 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 2.4 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)


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