Seoul stocks open steeply higher on U.S. stimulus project

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Friday on the back of a massive infrastructure project by the United States.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 30.08 points, or 0.97 percent, to 3,117.48 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks traded bullish due to market optimism over a US$2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal in the U.S., which local investors hailed as a sign of rising global demand.

Auto and tech shares got off to a strong start, taking a cue from the overnight tech rally on Wall Street.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics added 2.17 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.07 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.65 percent, and internet portal operator Naver edged up 0.26 percent. Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 0.61 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics traded flat.

The local currency was trading at 1,127.35 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.55 won from the previous session’s close.