Seoul shares nearly flat late Wed. morning amid inflation, recession woes

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks traded nearly flat late Wednesday morning, as investors remain wary of potential impacts of high inflation and the U.S. central bank's rate hikes on the global economic growth.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had added 0.01 percent, or 0.33 point, to 2,596.89 as of 11:20 a.m.

The market opened slightly lower and moved in a tight range after U.S. stocks closed mixed overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 0.26 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.98 percent.

Investors are awaiting the U.S. consumer price data for April, which would show whether inflation has peaked.

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by a half-percentage point and indicated more 50-basis point rate hikes to curb surging inflation.

In Seoul, tech shares gathered ground to cap the market's fall.

Top-cap Samsung Electronics surged 0.76 percent, and SK hynix advanced 1.82 percent.

Major battery maker LG Energy Solution grew 1.02 percent, and LG Chem jumped 2.59 percent.

Carmakers also gathered ground. No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 0.28 percent, and Kia went up 1.07 percent.

But steel shares and insurance traded lower.

POSCO Holdings shed 0.72 percent, and Samsung Life lost 1.42 percent.

The local currency was changing hands at 1,277.30 won against the greenback as of 11:20 a.m., down 0.9 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency