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Seoul shares open higher on eased US 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, following the gains on Wall Street last week amid eased inflation in the United States that raised hopes for the Federal Reserve to slow its interest rate hikes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 7.36 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,393.45 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

All major US stock indexes closed higher Friday, with the S&P 500 and tech-rich Nasdaq hitting the highest level in a month, buoyed by expectations the Fed could ease its interest rate hikes after consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in 14 months.

In Seoul, tech blue chips and big financial companies gathered ground.

Top cap Samsung Electronics rose 0.5 percent, and top battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 0.4 percent. LG Chem, a leading chemical maker, added 0.8 percent.

Shinhan Financial, a major banking firm, jumped 3.5 percent.

Auto stocks fell. Hyundai Motor sank more than 2 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia shed 2.6 percent. Hyundai Mobis, an auto components maker under Hyundai Motor, also lost 0.7 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,236.3 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 5 won from Friday's close. (Yonhap)

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