Seoul shares down late Wed. morning amid recession fears

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks turned to losses Wednesday morning, despite solid overnight gains on Wall Street, amid lingering fears of a global economic slowdown over aggressive monetary tightening by major countries.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had lost 5.35 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,204.03 as of 11:20 a.m.

The market opened markedly higher, tracking U.S. rallies following a recent market rout. But the gains were pared on institutional and foreign selling.

Some investors voiced hope for the Federal Reserve to hold its aggressive monetary tightening, as the number of U.S. job openings in August plunged by the most since April 2020, but weak market data, at the same time, further stoked fears of a recession and its impact on corporate performances, according to analysts.

In Seoul, major tech shares gathered ground, while carmakers fell.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.72 percent, and chip giant SK hynix jumped 2.2 percent.

Battery maker LG Energy Solutions surged 3.49 percent, and Samsung SDI added 1.98 percent. Major chemical firm LG Chem also advanced 0.9 percent.

But top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 3.62 percent and its affiliate Kia sank 4.40 percent.

Internet giant Naver tumbled 5.95 percent following heavy losses the previous session, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger Kakao Talk, decreased 1.97 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,422.0 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., up 4.50 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency