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Seoul shares open tad higher on steelmaker, auto gains

South Korean stocks opened slightly higher Friday, buoyed by strong blue chip steelmakers and automobiles, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Indexticked up 0.78 point, or 0.04 percent, to trade at 2,165.42 in the first 15 minutes of trading. 

POSCO, the country's leading steelmaker, jumped nearly 2 percent, after it released a better-than-expected earnings guidance for the first quarter Thursday. No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor was also up almost 1 percent, with its auto parts-making affiliate Hyundai Mobis gaining 1.3 percent.

But tech large-caps moved downward, capping the Kospi's gains.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 1.4 percent, and memory chipmaker SK hynix lost 1.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,119.10 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 1.9 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)

Korea Herald daum