SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Monday on strong advances by bio and chemical shares.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 23.87 points, or 0.75 percent, to 3,221.07 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The KOSPI got off to a solid start after increasing in the past three sessions.

Investor sentiment remained high despite increased valuation pressure as disappointing U.S. jobs data eased concerns about earlier-than-expected inflation.

Top cap Samsung Electronics advanced 0.37 percent in Seoul, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix traded flat.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 0.5 percent, with Celltrion adding 2.44 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 0.65 percent, and internet portal operator Naver climbed 0.55 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.34 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,113.6 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.7 won from the previous session’s close.