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Seoul shares open higher amid eased inflation woes

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

South Korean stocks opened higher Monday as eased inflation woes raised hopes for less aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 8.11 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,491.27 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 0.1 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.88 percent on hopes that the Fed could slow the pace of its aggressive monetary tightening over eased inflation woes.

The US' consumer price index for October marked the lowest annual increase of the year at 7.7 percent. The figure was lower than economists' expectations of 7.9 percent.

Last week, the Kospi jumped more than 5 percent.

In Seoul on Monday, top-cap shares traded mixed, with carmakers and chemicals rising to lead the overall market upturn.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 3.49 percent, and its affiliate Kia soared 3.24 percent.

Battery maker LG Energy Solutions inched up 0.16 percent, and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem rose 1.22 percent.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco also rose 2.45 percent.

Internet giant Naver rose 0.26 percent, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger Kakao Talk, added 1.36 percent.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.48 percent, and chip giant SK hynix lost 1.07 percent on profit-taking.

The Korean won had been trading at 1,315.85 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 2.55 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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