Seoul shares open lower ahead of U.S. rate decision

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) — Seoul shares opened lower Tuesday as investors remain wary over a widely expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve this week to combat soaring inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 8.04 points, or 0.33 percent, to trade at 2,395.65 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Fed is expected to raise borrowing costs by 0.75 percentage point, which would put the U.S. benchmark rate in a range of 2.25-2.5 percent.

Also, some major companies, including Samsung Electronics Co., are set to release their latest earnings results this week.

Auto and airline stocks were the lead decliners, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. falling 1 percent, Hyundai’s smaller affiliate Kia Corp. shedding 0.6 percent and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. losing 0.2 percent.

Tech stocks were mixed, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 0.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. staying unchanged and LG Display Co. falling 0.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,312.65 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.85 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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