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Seoul stocks open higher on recovery hopes

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened higher Tuesday after hitting an all-time high the previous session on hopes of an economic recovery and new coronavirus vaccine development.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7.01 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,609.6 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment ran high in the global financial markets, as progress in COVID-19 vaccine development fueled optimism that the economy and trade would normalize down the road.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.12 percent to 29,591.27 points, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite adding 0.22 percent and the S&P 500 climbing 0.56 percent.

Most large caps traded higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.3 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.5 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem jumped 2.14 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI advanced 1.52 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, moved up 1.96 percent. Leading steelmaker Posco rose 1.23 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver gained 1.24 percent, and its rival Kakao hiked 2.45 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics retreated 1.12 percent, with Celltrion slipping 0.33 percent. 

The local currency was trading at 1,113.25 won against the US dollar, down 2.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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