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Seoul shares open a tad lower on U.S. debt ceiling uncertainties

Stocks 09:32 May 24, 2023

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened slightly lower Wednesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street, amid uncertainties over talks on the United States' debt ceiling to avoid a federal default.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 2.95 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,556.45 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, U.S. shares ended lower as negotiations on the United States' debt ceiling drag on, with nine days left till the June 1 deadline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.69 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.26 percent.

In Seoul, top-cap stocks traded mixed, with chemicals opening on a firm note.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics remained unchanged, and chip giant SK hynix sank 0.92 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 0.87 percent, and LG Chem grew 0.97 percent.

Carmakers opened mixed.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.72 percent while Kia inched up 0.11 percent.

Large-cap bio shares opened lower, with Samsung Biologics falling 0.38 percent and Celltrion going down 0.61 percent.

Leading internet portal operator Naver sank 1.89 percent, and Kakao skidded 1.03 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,319.05 won against the U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 6.35 won from the previous session's close.


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