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Seoul stocks open higher after Fed chief's inflation comments

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 steeply higher Wednesday as the US Fed chief's comments about inflation were largely within market expectations.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 27.86 points, or 0.95 percent, to 2,955.24 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a strong start, taking a cue from overnight rallies on Wall Street.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.41 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.51 percent.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank will take actions if needed in order to reign in the inflation pressure and may taper its balance sheet at a faster pace than the previous time.

He did not specify the time for the next rate hike.

Most large caps traded higher in Seoul.

Top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.38 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.39 percent, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics climbed 0.1.44 percent.

Electric car battery maker LG Chem moved up 2.32 percent, and internet portal operator Naver jumped 3.28 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,189.8 won against the US dollar, up 4.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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