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Seoul stocks open higher on chip gains

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened higher Friday on a continued rally by giant chipmakers, after the benchmark index closed at an all-time high the previous session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 24.61 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,720.83 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Tech, financial and steel related shares performed strongly, backed by expectations that early COVID-19 vaccine development may quicken the export-intensive economy.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.29 percent to 29,969.52 points, but the S&P 500 slipped 0.06 percent on pandemic concerns. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.23 percent

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.58 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.59 percent. Both firms closed at an all-time high the previous session on rosy earnings forecast for next year.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, advanced 1.02 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 1.18 percent, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 0.54 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics lost 0.37 percent, but Celltrion rose 2.28 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver slid 0.17 percent, but its rival Kakao declined 0.27 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,092.5 won against the US dollar, up 4.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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