SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks opened sharply higher Monday, taking a cue from U.S. stock rallies during the weekend.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 19.48 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,298.27 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Local stocks got off to a strong start, tracking strong advances by U.S. tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft and Tesla.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.26 percent to 10,913.56 the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.34 percent, with the S&P 500 adding 1.6 percent.

Most large caps traded higher in Seoul.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 0.35 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.21 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver gained 1.69 percent, with its rival Kakao up 2.7 percent.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem edged up 0.32 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 0.97 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 0.59 percent, and Celltrion advanced 0.58 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,173.1 won to the U.S. dollar, down 0.8 won from the previous session’s close.