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Monday, April 15, 2024

Seoul shares open lower on dim U.S. tech earnings, Fed uncertainties

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Electronic display boards at Hana Bank in central Seoul show stock and foreign exchange markets Friday morning. [YONHAP]
Electronic display boards at Hana Bank in central Seoul show stock and foreign exchange markets Friday morning. [YONHAP]

Stocks opened lower Friday, weighed by lackluster earnings and forecasts from major U.S. tech companies, with uncertainties hanging over the Federal Reserve’s next move for monetary policy.

The benchmark Kospi slipped 3.7 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,285.08 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. stocks ended mixed Thursday amid mixed economic data and earnings reports that included downbeat forecasts by big tech companies, including Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

The U.S. reported that its economy posted growth for the first time this year in the third quarter, but a slowdown in private spending added to economic woes amid decades-high inflation.

Also in focus is whether the Fed will signal a slowdown on its hawkish interest rate hikes. The U.S. central bank is likely to deliver another 0.75 percentage point rate hike as it meets next week.

In Seoul, tech heavyweights lost ground, with Samsung Electronics falling about 1.4 percent and SK hynix dipping more than 3 percent.

Chemical companies and automakers rose. LG Chem added 0.5 percent and Posco Chemical gained about 0.8 percent. Hyundai Motor climbed 0.6 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,421.30 won against the dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 4.3 won from Thursday’s close.

BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [cho.jungwoo1@joongang.co.kr]