Seoul stocks opened higher Wednesday on China's decision to partially lift its ban on group tours to South Korea.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 1.12 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,515.31 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Cosmetic and other shares related to China gained ground as China's National Tourism Administration made a decision to allow offline tourist agencies in Beijing and Shandong Province to sell package tours to South Korea, said Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.
She said the main index was largely unaffected by North Korea's missile launch earlier in the day.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Among gainers, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. rose 0.12 percent, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. was up 1.27 percent.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.56 percent, and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, was down 0.37 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,083.20 won against the US dollar, up 1.20 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)