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Seoul stocks down late Fri. morning amid lingering recession concerns

Stocks 11:32 November 25, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks traded lower late Friday morning as traders took a wait-and-see stance amid persistent uncertainties over monetary tightening and the global economic outlook.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had declined 5.53 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,435.80 as of 11:20 a.m.

While traders are increasingly looking to less aggressive rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve as inflation data shows signs of slowing, upward momentum in global stock markets is lacking. China's worsening COVID-19 situation is adding to concerns.

On Thursday, the Bank of Korea delivered a 25 basis-point rate hike to bring down high prices.

BOK Gov. Rhee Chang-yong said the central bank will not discuss rate cuts until there are clear signs of inflation falling to its target range.

The U.S. market was closed for Thanksgiving overnight.

In Seoul, most large caps traded lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics inched down 0.65 percent, and SK hynix also declined 1.38 percent. Major chemical firm LG Chem also lost 1.1 percent.

The country's biggest portal site operator, Naver, shed 0.53 percent, and Kakao, the operator of South Korea's dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, declined 1.92 percent.

Among gainers, Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, rose 0.11 percent and battery maker Samsung SDI added 0.56 percent.

The local currency was exchanging hands at 1,329.9 won against the dollar, down 1.7 won from the previous session's close, as of 11:20 a.m.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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