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Seoul shares open sharply lower on rising recession fears

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

Seoul stocks opened markedly lower Monday on growing concerns about a global economic recession caused by combative monetary tightening policies in major economies.

The benchmark Kopsi dropped 40.27 points, or 1.76 percent, to 2,249.73 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, US stocks ended lower, with investors fleeing for safety and cashing out of the stock market on fears that aggressive rate hikes could seriously hurt the global economy.

The S&P500 fell 1.7 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.6 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite sank 1.8 percent.

The US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates by three-quarters of a point early last week, its third increase in a row to bring down inflation.

In Seoul, large-cap shares lost ground across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slumped 1.47 percent, and SK hynix, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, shed 1.44 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor dipped 2.89 percent, while battery maker LG Energy Solutions slid 2.93 percent. Leading chemical firm LG Chem dropped 4.47 percent.

The Korean won was changing hands at 1,421.10 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 11.8 won from the previous session's close and a level unseen in over 13 years. (Yonhap)

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