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Seoul shares nearly flat Mon. morning amid eased inflation woes

All News 11:35 November 14, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded nearly flat late Monday morning after the previous session's sharp advance, amid guarded hope for the less aggressive monetary tightening by the United States on eased inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had shed 1.61 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,481.55 as of 11:20 a.m.

The market opened higher as investors looked at chances of the Federal Reserve going easy on aggressive monetary tightening to curb inflation.

But some of the earlier gains were pared, after Fed official Christopher Waller said the Fed is still "a ways to go" before stopping raising rate hikes and the possible slowdown of its rate hikes pace in the next meeting should not been seen as a softening in its commitment to fight inflation.

In Seoul, big-cap shares trade mixed, with tech shares losing ground on profit-taking.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.27 percent, and chip giant SK hynix lost 2.03 percent.

Battery maker LG Energy Solutions went down 2.72 percent, and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem decreased 0.64 percent.

Internet giant Naver also skidded 1.81 percent.

But carmakers gathered ground after U.S. President Joe Biden said Sunday the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) should be discussed in consideration of South Korean firms' great contribution to the U.S. economy.

The IRA has been a source of concern for carmakers and other businesses here, as it calls for giving tax credits only to electric vehicles assembled in North America.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 3.20 percent, and its affiliate Kia soared 3.09 percent.

Steelmakers also rose, with No. 1 steelmaker POSCO jumping 4.03 percent.

The local currency had been trading at 1,320.50 won against the greenback as of 11:20 a.m., down 2.1 won from the previous session's close.


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