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Seoul stocks start lower amid Turkish woes

All Headlines 09:31 August 13, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks started lower Monday amid simmering political and economic tensions between the United States and Turkey and the subsequent crash of the lira.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 16.62 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2,266.17 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Last week, Turkey's currency plunged after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on Turkey's steel exports. The weaker currency also sparked concerns over Turkish banks' and firms' ability to pay back foreign debts.

The trade measure by Washington is the latest salvo in ongoing disputes over defense policy and the detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, by Turkey, according to experts.

Most blue chips were in negative terrain, with tech and steel shares leading the downturn.

Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 1.1 percent, and LG Electronics sank 1.9 percent. Top steelmaker POSCO plunged 1.98 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,130.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.1 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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