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Seoul shares open markedly lower on Powell’s resolve to continue aggressive monetary tightening


An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s stock market opened sharply down Monday, tracking Wall Street’s rout last Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the US central bank would continue its fight against four-decade high inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 57.55 points, or 2.32 percent, to trade at 2,423.48 as of 9:15 a.m.

“Restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time,” Powell said during his speech at the annual central bankers’ meeting in Jackson Hole.

“The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,” he said.

Following the remarks, the US stock market sharply fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 4.2 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 4 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plummeted 4.4 percent.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks opened lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.83 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 2.9 percent. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dropped 2.52 percent, and top chemical firm LG Chem retreated 3.08 percent. Hyundai Motor also went down 2.84 percent, and battery maker Samsung SDI declined 2.22 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,343.70 won against the US dollar, down 12.4 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)





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