SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday as bargain hunters sought to buy oversold stocks after the benchmark index took a breather for the past three sessions.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10.67 points, or 0.33 percent, to 3,243.37 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks came to a strong start after the KOSPI retreated nearly 2 percent in the past three sessions amid rising concerns over the fourth wave of the pandemic in the country.

Hopes of economic rebound also backed the stock prices, with the country’s exports increasing 32.8 percent on-year in the first 20 days of July.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 0.38 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.42 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver increased 0.8 percent, with its rival Kakao adding 1.64 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics retreated 2.08 percent, and Celltrion decreased 1.1 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.32 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem climbed 0.74 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,148.6 won to the U.S. dollar, up 1.8 won from the previous session’s close.