Seoul stocks open sharply higher on new U.S. stimulus hopes

SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares opened sharply higher Tuesday, apparently tracking overnight advances on Wall Street that stemmed from hopes of the new fiscal stimulus talks.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20.03 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,328.11 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The market got off to a strong start after a 1.29 percent jump the previous session.

Investor sentiment improved, following reports on the progress for the new U.S. fiscal stimulus plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.51 percent to close at 24,474.12 on Monday (New York time). The tech-laden Nasdaq composite added 1.87 percent, and the S&P 500 advanced 1.61 percent.

In Seoul, most large caps traded higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.52 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advancing 0.48 percent.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem surged 3.35 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 2.02 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.15 percent, while Celltrion slipped 0.2 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, hiked 1.42 percent, and internet portal giant Naver stayed flat.

The local currency was trading at 1,169.55 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.05 won from the previous session’s close.