Seoul shares open lower on Fed, growth woes
South Korean stocks opened lower Wednesday, tracking an overnight drop on Wall Street, on lingering concerns about further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the US economic outlook.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 3.01 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,459.96 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, US shares ended markedly lower as data pointed to weaker-than-expected consumer confidence, stoking fears over a slowdown in the world's largest economy.
Investors remained worried about the Fed's continued push for aggressive monetary tightening, as more data showed record high home prices for July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.14 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.57 percent.
On the Seoul bourse, top-cap shares traded mixed.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.73 percent on bargain hunting, while leading battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 0.63 percent.
Chip giant SK hynix retreated 1.13 percent, and Samsung SDI sank 1.72 percent. LG Chem dropped 2.08 percent.
Carmakers opened mixed, with top automaker Hyundai Motor remaining unchanged and Kia going down 0.25 percent.
Major biotech firm Samsung Biologics inched up 0.15 percent, but platform giant Naver shed 0.5 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,352.80 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 4.3 won from the previous session's close.
South Korean stock, ETF, derivatives and commodity markets will all be closed during the extended Chuseok holiday, which runs from Thursday through Tuesday. (Yonhap)