South Korean stocks start higher due to U.S. advances despite rate worries


SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, following the advances of Wall Street, despite investors’ concerns about the Federal Reserve’s additional rate hikes to control inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased by 0.46 point, or 0.02 percent, to 2,608.08 in the initial 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1 percent to 34,951.93 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite went up 0.8 percent to 14,353.64.

Investors are keeping an eye on the U.S. central bank, which is likely to raise rates further this year to reach its inflation target of 2 percent.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks opened mixed.

Market giant Samsung Electronics Co. grew 0.3 percent, while second-largest chipmaker SK hynix Inc. decreased 0.08 percent. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 0.5 percent, and its sister company Kia decreased 0.9 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,265.30 won against the U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 4.9 won from the previous session’s close.

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