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Seoul shares open lower ahead of Fed minutes release

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares opened lower Tuesday, bucking overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors await the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest rate-setting meeting this week to take a cue about the US central bank's future tightening move.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.73 points, or 0.07 percent, to trade at 2,645.65 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 percent to 31,880.24 and the tech-focused Nasdaq index gained 1.6 percent to 11,535.27, helped by US President Joe Biden's comments that China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will be reviewed.

Investors remain cautious about the Fed's additional rate hikes, inflation and the impact of China's COVID-19 lockdown on the global economy.

They also await earnings results of US retail companies, such as Best Buy, a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Macy's.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks declined across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 2.2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 1 percent, and Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent firm of national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co., declined 0.2 percent.

Among gainers, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. rose 4.6 percent, state utility Korea Gas Corp. climbed 2.4 percent, and LG Energy Solution was up 0.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,262.85 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.25 won from Monday's close. (Yonhap)

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