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Seoul shares open higher on US gains

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

South Korean stocks got off to a strong start Tuesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, to rebound from an over two-year low amid lingering fears of a global economic recession.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 33.54 points, or 1.56 percent, to 2,189.03 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.66 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.27 percent, as US Treasury yields retreated from levels unseen in about a decade.

The Seoul market was closed Monday for the National Foundation Day holiday.

On Friday, the KOSPI fell to a more than two-year low of 2,155.49 on concerns over a global economic slowdown amid aggressive monetary tightening in major economies.

In Seoul on Tuesday, tech shares led the overall market gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics spiked 4.14 percent, and chip giant SK hynix turned up 4.33 percent.

Carmakers also rose, with top automaker Hyundai Motor growing 1.7 percent and its affiliate Kia adding 0.56 percent.

Major chemical firm LG Chem also went up 1.12 percent.

But battery maker LG Energy Solutions lost 1.29 percent, and Samsung SDI went down 0.55 percent.

Internet giant Naver also tumbled 4.39 percent, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger Kakao Talk, retreated 0.88 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,434.25 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 4.05 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)


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