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Seoul shares down late Thurs. morning after U.S. stock plunge

Stocks 11:34 May 19, 2022

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares dipped by more than 1 percent late Thursday morning, as investors' appetite for risky assets fell amid fears about high-flying inflation pressure that sparked a massive sell-off on Wall Street.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had fallen 41.3 points, or 1.57 percent, to 2,584.58 points as of 11:20 a.m.

The key stock index faltered below the 2,600-point mark with the opening bell, tracking an overnight plunge on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 sank 4.04 percent Thursday, the sharpest drop since June 2020, as high inflation and lackluster earnings by giant retailers stoked concerns about a possible recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 3.57 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite tumbled 4.73 percent.

Investors are worried high prices and weak growth around the world may lead to a recession.

South Korea's top central banker said earlier this week he is not ruling out the possibility of a hawkish 50-basis-point rate hike in the rate-setting meeting on May 26.

Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. lost 1.32 percent, the country's largest chemical company LG Chem shed 2.34 percent, and internet giant Naver retreated 2.35 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 1.89 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declining 2.2 percent.

The local currency had changed hands at 1,275.15 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 8.55 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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