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Seoul stocks open higher on bio gains

Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
Stock market in South Korea (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened higher Thursday, backed by strong advances in major bio stocks.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) added 6.83 points, or 0.21 percent, to trade at 3,287.21 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Bio stocks jumped as the country's daily new coronavirus cases sharply increased to the 1,700s on Wednesday despite the strongest virus restrictions.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 3.1 percent, with Celltrion advancing 1.67 percent. SK Bioscience surged 6.65 percent.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics edged down 0.12 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 0.83 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver climbed 2.89 percent, with battery maker Samsung SDI gaining 0.81 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.67 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem traded flat.

The local currency was trading at 1,145.15 won against the US dollar, down 1.55 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)