SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday on investor optimism for a faster-than-expected global economic recovery, backed by the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 8.75 points, or 0.28 percent, to 3,135.83 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The firm start comes after the IMF raised its global economic growth forecast for this year to 6 percent from its earlier estimate of 5.5 percent.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.58 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.35 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver shed 0.77 percent, with its rival Kakao slipping 0.92 percent.

Top chemicals firm LG Chem jumped 2.46 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI surged 4.21 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.65 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,118.5 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.1 won from the previous session’s close.