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Seoul shares open sharply lower on dashed hopes for U.S. inflation

All News 09:37 September 14, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks tumbled at the opening bell Wednesday, driven by big IT and bio shares, after the hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data sparked fears the Federal Reserve will push ahead with its aggressive monetary tightening.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) sank 62.19 points, or 2.54 percent, to 2,387.35 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The U.S. August consumer price index (CPI) slowed to an 8.3 percent on-year gain but was above the consensus of an 8.1 percent increase.

The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 6.3 percent from a year earlier, topping the forecast of a 6.1 percent on-year gain.

The strong inflation data fueled expectations that the Fed will go ahead with another sharp interest rate hike by three-quarters of a percentage point in the monetary policy meeting next week.

The data sent Wall Street to post the biggest fall in two years.

In Seoul, most shares took a beating, with internet portal provider Naver plummeting more than 5 percent and biotech firm Samsung Biologics dipping over 3 percent.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics also tumbled around 3 percent.

The local currency started sharply lower against the U.S. dollar, breaching the 1,390 won mark for the first time in more than 13 years. The Korean won was trading at 1,394.50 won against the greenback as of 9:15 a.m., down 20.9 won from Tuesday's close.


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