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Seoul shares open lower on recession woes

Stocks 09:32 May 09, 2022

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened lower Monday on concerns over a global economic downturn amid high inflation and the prolonged shutdown of major Chinese cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 5.32 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,639.19 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, U.S. shares fell as investors were worried about the Federal Reserve's belt-tightening to curb inflation and the subsequent impact on the economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.4 percent.

On Wednesday (U.S. time), the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point and indicated more 50-basis point rate hikes.

In Seoul, batteries and auto shares traded lower.

Top battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 0.5 percent, and Samsung SDI slid 0.32 percent.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.27 percent, and Kia tumbled 0.48 percent.

Major steelmaker POSCO Holdings also declined 0.35 percent, and KB Financial went down 0.84 percent.

But top-cap tech shares traded higher to limit the market fall. Samsung Electronics rose 0.45 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.47 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,273.60 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 0.9 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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