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Seoul shares open lower after Fed minutes

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 4, 2024 - 09:48

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

Seoul shares opened lower Thursday, following an overnight slump in US stocks, after the latest Fed minutes indicated interest rates will remain at high levels for some time.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 10.97 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,596.34 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8 percent to 37,430.19, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.2 percent to 14,592.21.

Fed minutes from its December meeting indicated rates could remain at high levels for the time being and there will be possible rate cuts before the year is out.

In Seoul, tech, auto and steel stocks led declines.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.4 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 1.8 percent, steelmaker Posco Holdings dropped 0.2 percent, and state utility Korea Electric Power Corp. shed 1.1 percent.

Among gainers, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. rose 0.4 percent, leading shipping firm HMM jumped 5.4 percent, and leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. was up 0.1 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,309.15 won against the US dollar, down 4.35 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)