SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Friday, led by a rebound in battery and bio heavyweights.

   The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 6.03 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,412.2 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

   The KOSPI rebounded after the index lost 1.22 percent in the previous session.

   Battery and biopharmaceutical large caps fared strong, while auto-related shares dipped.

   Leading chemical company LG Chem jumped 2.33 percent, a day after it announced its decision to spin off its battery business in December to further strengthen its leading position in the sector amid growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

   Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 0.4 percent, and Celltrion gained 1.72 percent.

   Tech top cap Samsung Electronics remained flat, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.61 percent.

   Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.17 percent, with its rival Kakao adding 1.08 percent.

   Among decliners, top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.54 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shed 1.65 percent. Auto part maker Hyundai Mobis retreated 1.65 percent.

   The local currency was trading at 1,167.05 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.35 won from the previous session’s close.