Seoul Stock Market Opens Lower as Investors Await U.S. Federal Reserve Meeting

SEOUL — South Korean stocks opened on a weaker note on Monday, as investors exercised caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting scheduled for later this week.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 3.78 points or 0.16 percent, settling at 2,299.03 within the first 15 minutes of trading. The Federal Reserve's two-day meeting is set to occur on Tuesday and Wednesday (U.S. time), and investors are keen to see whether Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will provide any indications on future monetary policy.

Tech companies exhibited mixed performance, with Samsung Electronics falling by 0.59 percent, while the second-largest chipmaker, SK hynix, gained 1.43 percent. Leading steel manufacturer POSCO Holdings saw its shares drop by 0.71 percent, while Korea Zinc's shares increased by 1.82 percent. Chemical companies were mostly in the losing column, with LG Chemical down 0.46 percent and cosmetics manufacturer AmorePacific declining by 0.77 percent. As of 9:15 a.m., the local currency was trading at 1,355.00 won against the U.S. dollar, a marginal increase of 0.9 won from the previous trading session's close.

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