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Seoul stocks open higher on vaccine hopes


South Korean shares opened higher Monday on hopes of a new coronavirus vaccine.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.16 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,976.29 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Optimism grew after a US bio firm, Moderna, again reported positive test results from its candidate vaccine.

Such reports from the US firm sparked a global stock market rally last week.

Large caps traded mixed.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 0.21 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipped 0.25 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver added 1.95 percent, while its local rival Kakao spiked 2.23 percent.

Pharmaceutical industry leader Samsung Biologics added 0.65 percent, while Celltrion lost 0.69 percent.

The local currency fell against the US dollar, trading at 1,239.85 won per dollar, down 2.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)