Seoul stocks down late Thur. morning on U.S. inflation woes

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks traded bearish late Thursday morning as investors digest high-flying inflation in the United States, which could hasten the Federal Reserve's tapering move.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged down 3.65 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,968.83 points as of 11:20 a.m.

Stocks got off to a muted start as the U.S. consumer price index showed a 7 percent increase in December, the highest on-year jump in almost four decades.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite inched up 0.23 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11 percent, as the inflation woes have been largely on stock prices.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.63 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix traded unchanged from the previous session.

LG Electronics surged 7.3 percent after reports that it will supply an infotainment system for Mercedes-Benz's EQS model.

Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.16 percent, its rival Kakao gained 0.21 percent, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor traded flat.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.35 percent, and electric car battery maker LG Chem declined 3.23 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,188.55 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.95 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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