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Seoul shares open higher on expectations over Fed's less aggressive rate hikes

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)

South Korean stocks opened higher Friday, as investors speculated that a second consecutive quarterly contraction in the US economy may prod the US Federal Reserve to take rate hikes that are less aggressive than previously expected.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 17.81 points, or 0.73 percent, to trade at 2,453.08 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks came off to a solid start after a 1.03 percent gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a 1.08 percent advance on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

Investors believe that the US Fed may take a "big or giant" step to fight rising inflation, given an economic recession.

The US central bank on Thursday also hinted at a possible slowdown in policy tightening, following an aggressive 0.75-percentage point hike in the benchmark interest rates.

In Seoul, market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 0.65 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.3 percent.

Battery giant LG Energy Solution traded flat, and internet portal operator Naver jumped 4.25 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,297.65 won against the US dollar, down 1.55 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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