SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Tuesday as institutional investors sought to pick up oversold shares after the index declined the previous session amid lingering inflation concerns.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 16.13 points, or 0.51 percent, to 3,150.65 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The local index rebounded, led by institutional buying, after the KOSPI dipped 0.6 percent the previous session, shrugging off an overnight decline on Wall Street.In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics shed 0.25 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.28 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver rose 0.29 percent, and rival Kakao climbed 1.81 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 3.55 percent, while Celltrion remained unchanged.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem gained 1.05 percent, while electric vehicle battery maker Samsung SDI slipped 0.8 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 0.44 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,136.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.4 won from the previous session’s close.