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Seoul shares down late Thurs. morning amid choppy trading

All News 11:32 June 23, 2022

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares traded lower late Thursday morning, as investors remain worried over a potential global economic slowdown.

After opening slightly higher, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 12.82 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,329.99 as of 11:20 a.m.

Overnight, Wall Street closed lower after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the central bank's aggressive rate hikes could cause an economic downturn.

The U.S. central bank raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage point last week, its steepest increase since 1994.

"It's not our intended outcome at all, but it's certainly a possibility," he said during a congressional hearing. Achieving a soft landing for the economy without a recession has become "significantly more challenging," he added.

The S&P 500 declined 0.13 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.15 percent. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.15 percent.

In Seoul, trading was mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.52, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 2.17 percent. Battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.87 percent.

Among gainers, Hyundai Motor rose 0.29 percent and Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, went up 0.86 percent. Internet giant Naver increased 2.62 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,301.30 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 4.0 won from the previous session's close and hitting a 13-year low.

The Korean won weakened past the 1,300-won level for the first time since July 14, 2009.


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