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Seoul shares down late Fri. morning amid rate concerns

All News 11:31 March 24, 2023

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower Friday as market sentiment was down on concerns about rate increases.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had dropped 13.41 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,411.07 as of 11:20 a.m., further extending its losses.

Overnight, Wall Street ended higher as traders placed their bets on the Fed possibly winding down its aggressive monetary tightening soon amid recession woes, after its nine consecutive rate hikes in the span of a year to fight inflation.

In Seoul, most big-cap shares traded lower amid continued global market uncertainty stemming from the Fed's future path of interest rates.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics climbed 0.64 percent, but chip giant SK hynix lost 0.9 percent, paring its earlier gains.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution declined 1.39 percent, and Samsung SDI went down 3.62 percent. LG Chem also dropped 3.51 percent.

Carmakers also lost ground, with No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor declining 1.94 percent and its affiliate Kia shedding 1.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,289.2 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 10.9 won from the previous session's close.


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