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Seoul shares up late morning amid persistent rate hike woes

Stocks 11:46 May 17, 2022

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded higher late Tuesday morning on institutional buying despite persistent worries over inflation and aggressive monetary tightening in major economies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index had risen 18.90 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2,615.48 as of 11:20 a.m.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed over the latest disappointing economic data from the U.S. and China. Data showed New York state factory activity shrank in May, and China's industrial output and consumer spending sharply contracted in April.

Investor anxiety is mounting over the prospects of a global economic slowdown as the Federal Reserve has begun strong monetary tightening to tackle high inflation and Russia's war in Ukraine has continued, sending oil and commodity prices soaring.

The S&P500 ended 0.39 percent lower and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.2 percent, driven by losses of mega-cap technology firms. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.08 percent.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks were trading mostly higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.81 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 1.36 percent. Major battery maker LG Energy Solution went up 0.25 percent, and Kakao, the operator of ubiquitous Kakao Talk, rose 0.73 percent.

The country's largest chemical company, LG Chem, shed 1.38 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,278.70 won against the dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session's close.


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