SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains, as Britain started mass-vaccinations against COVID-19 amid optimism over U.S. stimulus talks.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 23.39 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,724.32 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Local stocks traded bullish with reignited stimulus hopes in the United States, following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to set aside some deadlock factors from the relief package.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.98 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.3 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, added 1.61 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO moved up 0.75 percent.

Chemical firm LG Chem climbed 0.25 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 1.08 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics went up 0.72 percent, and Celltrion jumped 3.14 percent.

Internet portal Naver gained 0.7 percent, with its rival Kakao up 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,085.25 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.15 won from the previous session’s close.