South Korean stocks got off to a strong start on Monday in the first trading of the year, buoyed by gains in technology shares, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 5.9 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,056.9 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Tech issues led the climb with chip giant Hynix Semiconductor adding nearly 4 percent.
Financial shares also lent support with KB Financial Group, the parent of top lender Kookmin Bank, gaining nearly 2 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,131.2 won to the greenback as of 10:15 a.m., up 3.6 won from Thursday's close.