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Seoul shares open lower on Fed rate hike jitters

All News 09:35 September 16, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened lower Friday, as the latest U.S. economic data made it more certain that the Federal Reserve will deliver another steep interest rate hike in next week's policy meeting.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 17.31 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,384.52 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. retail sales posted a higher-than-expected gain in August in the latest government release Thursday (local time), supporting the view that the Fed will push ahead with a rate hike by at least 0.75 percentage point at the end of the two-day monetary policy meeting starting Tuesday.

Major blue chip stocks in Seoul declined across the board.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics slid about 0.9 percent, and chip giant SK hynix dipped more than 2 percent. Leading chemicals producer LG Chem retreated about 1.7 percent.

Auto stocks, in contrast, gained ground. Top player Hyundai Motor rose 1 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia added 0.6 percent.

Telecom shares also rose. Industry leader SK Telecom and its rival KT were both up around 0.3 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,398.60 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 4.9 won from Thursday's close.


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