Seoul stocks open sharply lower on Wall Street losses
SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened lower Friday, following overnight Wall Street losses amid growing fears over faster rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 25.35 points, or 1.05 percent, to 2,393.74 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, Wall Street closed sharply down after jobless claims showed that the U.S. labor market is still resilient, casting uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's rate hike path.
The S&P fell 1.85 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 1.66 percent, and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite declined 2.05 percent.
Investors are also awaiting U.S. jobs data due later in the day, which will set the overall tone for the Fed's monetary tightening direction.
In Seoul, most large cap stocks opened lower.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics went down 1.16 percent, and chipmaker SK hynix lost 2.22 percent.
Leading battery maker LG energy Solutions declined 0.91 percent, while SK Innovation, the parent company of battery maker SK On, was up 2.49 percent and Samsung SDI rose 0.55 percent.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor dropped 0.11 percent, and portal operator Naver decreased 1.09 percent.
The local currency was changing hands at 1,320.6 won against the greenback as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.6 won from the previous session's close.
U.S. military stages 'Elephant Walk' training with F-16 fighters
S. Korea slams N. Korea's planned satellite launch, warns of consequences
(LEAD) Japanese warship arrives in S. Korea for multinational WMD-interception naval drill
N. Korea open to high-level talks with Japan if Tokyo unshackled by past: vice FM
(LEAD) N. Korea says it will launch 1st military spy satellite in June