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Seoul stocks down late Thursday morning

All Headlines 11:37 June 14, 2018

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower Thursday morning, as the U.S. interest rates hike and the outlook for more hawkish monetary policy stoked concerns over spillover effects on emerging economies.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 32.14 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,436.69 as of 11:20 a.m.

After getting off to a weak start, the KOSPI skidded further due to heavy foreign sell-offs.

Though the Seoul government said the Fed's decision on Wednesday to raise the federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent would have limited impact on the Korean market, investors worried that the belt-tightening by the U.S. would be more drastic than previously expected, according to analysts.

Losses were deep and wide across the board, with most blue chips in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics sank 1.72 percent, and chip giant SK hynix tumbled 1.58 percent.

Major shares that are linked to a cross-border economic cooperation project also lost steam following the summit between the United States and North Korea.

Hyundai Construction nosedived 6.61 percent, and train manufacturer Hyundai Rotem collapsed 9.56 percent.

But major bio shares traded mixed, with pharmaceutical giant Celltrion advancing 1.28 percent and Samsung Biologics, the health care unit of Samsung Group, slipping 4.42 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,082.9 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.7 won from the previous session's close on Tuesday. The markets were closed Wednesday due to local elections.


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