SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares opened higher Monday, as the country loosened its antivirus curbs.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7.51 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,399.47 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The local stock market got off to a strong start, as the country lowered the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines to the lowest level Sunday, raising hopes that the eased virus curbs will boost the economic recovery.
Large caps traded mixed.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.5 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advancing 1.57 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver and its rival Kakao traded flat.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem shed 0.43 percent, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 1.46 percent.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 0.42 percent, while Celltrion rose 0.95 percent.
Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, dipped 1.11 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO retreated 1.44 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,149.05 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.25 won from the previous session’s close.