Seoul stocks slump nearly 1 pct late Thur. morning on U.S. tapering jitters
SEOUL-- South Korean stocks retreated nearly 1 percent late Thursday morning as investor sentiment weakened over the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes that hinted at the possibility of an earlier-than-expected tapering timeline.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 30.43 points, or 0.96 percent, to 3,128.5 points as of 11:20 a.m.
Stocks got off to a lackluster start, tracking the overnight Wall Street stock plunge.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.08 percent as Federal Reserve minutes signaled that the U.S. central bank could start rolling back its accommodative policies as early as later this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 slumped 0.89 percent and 1.07 percent, respectively.
Stocks deepened their losses in the late morning, with the tapering jitters pulling down the value of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.
In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics declined 0.68 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dipped 2.4 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver added 0.23 percent, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor retreated 2.35 percent. Giant chemical maker LG Chem gained 0.33 percent.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.1 percent, while bank top cap Kakao Bank jumped 5.92 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,175.25 won to the U.S. dollar, down 7.25 won from the previous session's close.
Source: Yonhap News Agency