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

South Korean stocks opened higher Tuesday on the back of gains in big-cap tech and chemical shares.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 9.37 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,556.45 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, US shares ended mixed as investors were awaiting the development regarding talks on a debt ceiling deal to avert a federal default.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.42 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5 percent.

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he had a productive debt ceiling discussion with President Joe Biden late Monday at the White House, but they have not yet reached any agreement, according to foreign media reports.

In Seoul, tech and chemical shares led the upturn of the index.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 0.15 percent, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 1.96 percent.

Samsung SDI grew 0.43 percent, and LG Chem increased 0.86 percent.

But chip giant SK hynix shed 0.41 percent.

Carmakers rose, with top automaker Hyundai Motor climbing 0.24 percent and Kia advancing 0.79 percent.

Large-cap bio shares also opened higher, with Samsung Biologics rising 0.25 percent and Celltrion adding 0.51 percent.

But platform operators started on a weak note. Leading internet portal operator Naver fell 1.4 percent, and Kakao inched down 0.35 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,311.3 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 6.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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