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Seoul shares open higher on tech gains

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

South Korean stocks opened higher Friday, despite overnight losses on Wall Street, on investors' bargain hunting for big-cap tech shares.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 13.76 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,456.66 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, US shares went down, as St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said rate hikes so far had "only limited effects on observed inflation" and the Fed's target rate should be up to at least 5 percent from the current level of below 4 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched down 0.02 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.35 percent.

In Seoul, tech shares helped the index bounce higher from the previous session's big losses.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.65 percent, and chip giant SK hynix surged 3.76 percent.

Battery maker LG Energy Solutions went up 0.34 percent, and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem inched up 0.14 percent. Samsung SDI rose 1.0 percent.

Carmakers also gathered ground, with top automaker Hyundai Motor adding 1.7 percent and its affiliate Kia advancing 0.9 percent.

Bio shares rose, with Samsung Biologics climbing 0.91 percent and Celltrion going up 0.56 percent.

The local currency had been trading at 1,343.0 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 3.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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