SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares opened higher Monday, buoyed by tech gains and eased social distancing measures.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.38 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2,414.07 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The index rose above the 2,400-point mark as chipmakers continued to gain despite lingering valuation pressure on tech heavyweights in major economies.

Investor sentiment also improved as the South Korean government eased the social distancing level to Level 2 in greater Seoul, starting Monday.

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 2.37 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advancing 1.15 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 0.66 percent, but Celltrion shed 0.5 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver retreated 1.47 percent, and its rival Kakao lost 1.98 percent.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem declined 0.99 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI fell 1.05 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, added 2.62 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO gained 2.25 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,185.85 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.05 won from the previous session’s close.