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Seoul shares open higher amid rate hike uncertainties

All News 09:36 August 09, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened slightly higher Tuesday, as the market maintains a cautious mood ahead of the release of latest U.S. inflation data this week that might offer a clue as to the Federal Reserve's next move in the monetary policy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 1.43 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,494.53 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. stocks closed almost flat on Monday (local time) after the country reported robust jobs data, a possible indication that the Fed could go ahead with a sharp rate hike in the September policy meeting to tame decades-high inflation.

The U.S. consumer price data, set to be released Wednesday, is expected to provide a further clue as to whether the Fed will go easy in the aggressive monetary tightening.

In Seoul, major tech and auto shares fell, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics losing nearly 1.5 percent and top automaker Hyundai Motor retreating 0.8 percent.

In contrast, battery makers gained ground. Top player LG Energy Solution was up 2.5 percent and its rival Samsung SDI rose 1.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,302.80 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 3.6 won from Monday's close.


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