Seoul stocks opened higher Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as investors expect a slowdown in US wage growth and contraction in the services sector may prod the Federal Reserve to go easy on its aggressive rate hike plans.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 41.01 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,330.98 in the first 40 minutes of trading.
Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 1.9 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution was up 3.2 percent.
Among decliners, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. fell 0.5 percent, and Kumho Engineering & Construction Co. declined 0.8 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,250.55 won against the US dollar, up 18.05 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)