South Korean stocks slide on Wall Street's lead and Fed's monetary tightening

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South Korean stocks slide on Wall Street's lead and Fed's monetary tightening
Credit: © Reuters.

South Korean stocks opened lower on Wednesday, mirroring an overnight drop on Wall Street, amid persistent concerns about further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. economic outlook. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index ( KOSPI ) shed 3.01 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,459.96 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. shares ended significantly lower overnight as data indicated weaker-than-expected consumer confidence, fueling fears over a slowdown in the world's largest economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.14 percent, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ : COMP tumbled 1.57 percent. Investors remained anxious about the Fed's continued push for aggressive monetary tightening, as more data revealed record-high home prices for July.

On the Seoul bourse, top-cap shares traded mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics (KRX:KS: 005930 ) rose 0.73 percent on bargain hunting while leading battery maker LG Energy Solution (KRX:373220) fell 0.63 percent. Chip giant SK Hynix (KRX:000660) retreated 1.13 percent, Samsung SDI (KRX:006400) sank 1.72 percent and LG Chem (KRX:051910) dropped 2.08 percent.

Carmakers had a mixed opening with top automaker Hyundai Motor (OTC: HYMTF ) (KRX:005380) remaining unchanged and Kia (KRX:000270) going down by 0.25 percent. Major biotech firm Samsung Biologics (KRX:207940) inched up by 0.15 percent, but platform giant Naver (KRX:KS: 035420 ) shed 0.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,352.80 won against the U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m. local time, down 4.3 won from the previous session's close.

The South Korean stock, ETF, derivatives, and commodity markets will all be closed during the extended Chuseok holiday, which runs from Thursday through Tuesday.

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