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Seoul stocks open higher on Dow's record gain, vaccine hopes

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, taking a cue from record gains on Wall Street, as US political uncertainty receded with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden starting his White House transition.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.11 points, or 0.65 percent, to 2,634.87 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Also, investor sentiment ran high in the global financial markets, amid growing optimism that continued progress in COVID-19 vaccine development and transition to Biden's trade friendly administration would hasten the economic recovery.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.54 percent to 30,046.24 points, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite adding 1.31 percent. The S&P 500 also gained 1.62 percent, refreshing its record.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.44 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rising 0.71 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem hiked 2.13 percent, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI shed 1.09 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, moved up 0.55 percent, and leading steelmaker Posco climbed 0.41 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics inched up 0.12 percent, and Celltrion jumped 3.81 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.18 percent, while its rival Kakao retreated 0.67 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,107.2 won against the US dollar, up 5.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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