South Korean stocks opened higher Monday as defensive stocks gained ground. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 6.51 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,141.39 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Defensive stocks, that are less prone to external changes and provide constant earnings, mostly gained, with South Korea's No. 1 cosmetics company AmorePacific rising 3.0 percent and KB Financial Group jumping 5.08 percent.
Keeping the main index in a tight range, market behemoth Samsung Electronics and top carmaker Hyundai Motor, on the other hand, fell 0.71 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively.
Refiners and utility stocks also climbed, with industry leader SK Innovation up 1.25 percent and Korea Electric Power Corp. up 0.11 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,137.25 won against the US dollar, a gain of 2.75 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)