Seoul shares open lower ahead of Fed meeting

South Korean stocks started weaker Monday as investors take a cautious approach ahead of a U.S. rate-setting meeting later this week.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 10.44 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,590.84 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Federal Reserve will hold the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Tuesday and Wednesday and likely hold key rates steady.

But the market expects the U.S. central bank may deliver one more rate hike this year, given the solid economic recovery of the world’s largest economy.

In Seoul, market heavyweights led the early decline, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics tumbling 0.97 percent and SK hynix, the second-largest share in terms of market cap, shedding 0.08 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.31 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia retreated 0.75 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution sank 1.56 percent, and Samsung SDI retreated 0.86 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,328.3 won against the U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m., down 2.4 won from Friday’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency