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Seoul shares open almost flat amid geopolitical tensions, rate woes

South Korean stocks opened almost flat Monday amid geopolitical tensions and expectations of continued Fed rate woes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 1.75 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,373.25 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

All three major US indexes closed sharply lower Friday amid escalating tensions in the Middle East and market expectations that the Fed will keep its key rates higher for longer.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.29 percent and the country's No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.4 percent.

Auto shares also started in positive terrain, with Hyundai Motor up 0.71 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia up 1.22 percent.

But battery shares started weak, with industry leader LG Energy Solution down 0.23 percent and its rival Samsung SDI down 1.56 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,351.80 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 0.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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