Seoul stocks down late Fri. morning on Ukraine, inflation woes

SEOUL-- South Korean shares traded slightly lower late Friday morning, led by institutional and foreign inventors' sell-offs.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 3.55 points, or 0.13 percent, to trade at 2,692.31 as of 11:20 a.m.

Seoul stocks opened higher, tracking overnight Wall Street gains, but turned to losses in late morning as institutions and foreigners offloaded a net 255 billion won.

Overnight, the U.S. stock market mostly rebounded as investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting, which hinted at more aggressive monetary tightening than had been originally expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent.

But investor sentiment was weighed down by concerns about inflation woes and the potential economic impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on the global economy.

On the Seoul bourse, most big-cap shares traded mixed, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 0.15 percent despite its strong earnings forecast the previous day and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shedding 1.76 percent.

LG Electronics rose 4.37 percent on surprise earnings results Thursday. Major battery maker LG Energy Solution inched up 0.46 percent and LG Chem rose 0.77 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,223.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.3 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency