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Seoul shares open higher after extended market rout

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares opened higher Friday after the market plunged to a 19-month low the previous session amid growing concerns about a recession.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.80 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,326.12 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the US stock market inched up on the second day of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress, during which he reaffirmed the central bank's commitment to bringing down high-flying inflation.

The Fed raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage point last week to tame inflation that is running at a 40-year high.

The S&P 500 gained 0.95 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64 percent. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.62 percent.

In Seoul, trading was mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.74, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 1 percent. Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, went up 0.37 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.29 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia declined 1.3 percent. Battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.25 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,300.70 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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