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Seoul shares open steeply lower on inflation woes

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

Seoul shares opened steeply lower Friday, taking a cue from an overnight US stock plunge amid concerns about inflation and a slowdown in the global economy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 27.48 points, or 1.05 percent, to 2,597.96 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investors are bracing themselves for the release of US inflation data later on Friday (US time).

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite retreated 2.75 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.94 percent amid concerns that the Federal Reserve may push for more aggressive monetary policies if the May consumer price growth turns out higher than expected.

Investors are also worried about the growing possibility of stagflation as growth outlooks for major economies are slashed.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.69 percent, and the country's largest chemical company LG Chem shed 0.51 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.27 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 2.84 percent.

The local currency changed hands at 1,266.1 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 9.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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