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Seoul shares open lower on Wall Street losses

2016/02/03 09:24

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares started 0.68 percent lower on Wednesday following an overnight drop in U.S. stocks caused by sliding oil prices.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 12.91 points to 1,893.69 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 1.8 percent and the NASDAQ skidded 2.24 percent after oil prices fell sharply due to faded hope for a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to cut production.

Most blue chips were in negative terrain, with losses in key exporters weighing down the index.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.78 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 1.54 percent.

The bearish market also dragged financials down. KB Financials slump 2.73 percent and Samsung Life Insurance decreased 1.34 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,214.9 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 7.5 won from Tuesday's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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