Seoul shares open lower on profit-taking, geopolitical woes

SEOUL– South Korean stocks opened lower Wednesday, despite overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors moved to lock in profits amid renewing geopolitical concerns in Europe.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 10.98 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,469.35 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.17 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.45 percent, after the United States’ producer price index, a measure of wholesale inflation, rose 8 percent last month, slowing from 8.4 percent a month earlier. It was also below the experts’ consensus of 8.3 percent.

Investors also were worried by the news that two people died in an explosion near Poland’s border with Ukraine, which Poland blamed on a Russian-made missile.

In Seoul, most big-cap shares were in negative terrain, with tech shares under heavy downward pressure.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.48 percent, and chip giant SK hynix went down 0.44 percent.

Battery maker LG Energy Solutions sank 1.01 percent, and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem shed 1.69 percent.

Carmakers also lost ground, with top automaker Hyundai Motor declining 0.57 percent and its affiliate Kia falling 0.44 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,322.45 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 4.85 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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