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Seoul shares open lower on rate hike 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 opened lower Thursday, taking a cue from overnight losses on Wall Street that stemmed from concerns about aggressive rate hikes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had slipped 9.74 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,227.7 points as of 9:16 a.m.

Stocks got off to a weak start as investors expected further hikes in the policy interest rates at home and in major economies.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.33 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.85 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 0.36, and chip giant SK hynix fell 2.91 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.3 percent, but steelmaker POSCO Holdings declined 0.59 percent.

Major chemical firm LG Chem went down 1.85 percent, while battery maker LG Energy Solutions increased 0.4 percent.

The Korean won was exchanging hands at 1,429.1 won against the US dollar as of 9:16 a.m., down 2.9 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)


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