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Seoul shares open sharply higher on Powell remarks

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

South Korean stocks opened sharply higher Thursday, boosted by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks signaling smaller rate hikes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 24.23 points, or 0.98 percent, to 2,496.76 shortly after the opening bell.

It briefly breached the 2,500-point mark.

Speaking at a Brookings Institution event Wednesday, Powell indicated the Fed could slow down the pace of its rate hikes, cementing the view that the central bank will go with a 50 basis point hike in its December monetary policy meeting.

In Seoul, shares gathered ground across the board, led by tech giant Samsung Electronics gaining 1.5 percent and SK hynix rising 2.5 percent.

The local currency also sharply rose against the US dollar, trading at 1,295.50 won at around 9:05 a.m., up 23.3 won from Wednesday's close. (Yonhap)

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