SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by the passing of the US$1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus package and the European Central Bank’s move to slow the early rise in long-term borrowing costs.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 30.5 points, or 1.01 percent, to 3,044.2 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Samsung Electronics added 1.1 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 2.19 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 0.66 percent, with internet portal operator Naver jumping 3.48 percent. Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.28 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 2.94 percent, and Celltrion climbed 0.34 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,130.0 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.9 won from the previous session’s close.