Seoul shares turn lower late Tue. morning amid recession woes

SEOUL-- Seoul shares turned lower late Tuesday morning as investors remain cautious about higher interest rates and a slowdown in the global economy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 6.42 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,395.50 as of 11:20 a.m.

The main index turned lower after opening up on bargain-hunting, bucking overnight falls on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent to 31,438.26 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.7 percent to 11,524.55 points.

The Fed recently raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage point to tame inflation that is running at a 40-year high.

Foreigners and institutions sold a combined 220 billion won (US$170 million) worth of stocks, exceeding individuals' stock purchases valued at 208 billion won.

Auto, airline and refinery stocks led gains.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.6 percent, its sibling Kia Corp. climbed 0.5 percent, Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent of Korean Air Lines Co., gained 1.1 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was up 1.8 percent.

Among decliners, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.1 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1 percent, and the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. was down 3.7 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,286.65 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., a 0.15 won fall from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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