Seoul shares start lower on U.S. losses

SEOUL, South Korean stocks opened a tad lower Wednesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 6.94 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,750.15 in the first 15 minutes of trading. U.S. stocks finished lower ahead of key inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.08 percent, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite slid 0.42 percent. In Seoul, market heavyweights traded in mixed territory. Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chipmaker, retreated 0.75 percent, but its chipmaking rival SK hynix added 0.91 percent. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.25 percent, but its sister Kia fell 1.05 percent. Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 1.11 percent, but leading banking group Shinhan Financial Group slumped 3.92 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,343.45 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.95 won from the previous session's close. Source: Yonhap News Agency