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Seoul shares open higher after US 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)

Seoul stocks opened higher Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as investors await key US inflation data this week for clues as to whether the Federal Reserve could scale down its aggressive monetary tightening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 4.72 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,375.80 in the first 15 minutes of trading. Kospi rebounded after a five-day slide.

Stronger-than-expected US jobs report and service sector activity released earlier this week weighed on consumer sentiment amid concerns that the Fed may keep policy tightening to tame runaway inflation.

Now all eyes are on Friday's producer price index for November as it is one of the final pieces of data Fed officials will see before the Dec. 13-14 policy meeting, analysts said.

Most large-cap stocks advanced, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 1.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbing 1.5 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gaining 0.6 percent, and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. gaining 0.7 percent

Among decliners, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. fell 0.6 percent, the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. declined 0.3 percent, and leading steelmaker Posco Holdings Inc. shed 1.1 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,316.25 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.75 won from the previous day's close. (Yonhap)

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