SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares opened higher Monday, driven by retail buying amid eased concerns over post-pandemic inflation.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4.57 points, or 0.14 percent, to 3,157.89 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The local index traded higher after a slump the previous week, tracking a sharp rise on Wall Street on Friday as investors shrugged off worries over inflation and rising commodity prices.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics inched up 0.12 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.84 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver gained 1.31 percent, and rival Kakao added 0.92 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem climbed 1.17 percent, and electric vehicle battery maker Samsung SDI moved up 1.44 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 4.54 percent, while top automaker Hyundai Motor remained unchanged.

The local currency was trading at 1,129.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.6 won from the previous session’s close.