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Seoul shares open higher on US gains amid rate hike worries

By Yonhap

Published : May 8, 2023 - 09:37

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

Seoul shares opened higher Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street last week, with investors staying concerned over the US Federal Reserve's further rate hikes to tame inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 20.83 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,521.77 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The main index stayed nearly unchanged last week, closing 0.02 lower at 2,500.94 on Thursday. The stock market was closed Friday to celebrate Children's Day.

On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said after its policy meeting it's too soon to say the rate hike cycle is over as the Fed believes inflation remains too high.

The US central bank raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage point to a range of 5-5.25 percent, the 10th consecutive hike since March 2022.

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

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.9 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. jumped 4.9 percent.

Among decliners, KG Mobility, formerly known as SsangYong Motor Co., fell 1.9 percent, major shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. declined 0.4 percent, and leading steelmaker Posco Holdings shed 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,323.65 won against the US dollar at around 9:15 a.m., down 0.85 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)