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Seoul stocks open higher on positive vaccine data


South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, buoyed by progress toward a new coronavirus vaccine.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 32.14 points, or 1.47 percent, to 2,215.75 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment improved following new reports that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. showed progress. The US biopharmaceutical firm's vaccine produced antibodies in all patients during an initial safety trial, according to the reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.13 percent to 26,642.59 on Tuesday, with the tech-laden Nasdaq gaining 0.94 percent.

In Seoul, most large caps got off to a strong start.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.86 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 1.09 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics added 1.9 percent, with leading chemical maker LG Chem advancing 1.31 percent.

South Korea's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, spiked 4.43 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,200.55 won against the US dollar, up 5.15 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)