Seoul shares open lower tracking Wall Street losses

South Korean stocks started lower Thursday tracking overnight losses from Wall Street, as the U.S.' fourth-quarter economic growth was slower than earlier estimated. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 20.49 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,631.8 in the first 15 minutes of trading. Overnight, the U.S. stock market closed weaker, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.06 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite losing 0.55 percent. The U.S. economy expanded 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slightly down from an earlier estimate of 3.3 percent. In Seoul, top tech giant Samsung Electronics dropped 1.23 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.33 percent. Naver, which operates the country's top search engine, decreased 2.5 percent, and Kakao shed 2.52 percent. Samsung C and T, a trading firm, moved up 0.26 percent, while POSCO International lost 0.71 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,334.7 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.1 won from the previous session 's close. The local financial market will be closed Friday for March 1 Independence Movement Day. Source: Yonhap News Agency