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Seoul shares start sharply higher on hopes for US rate cut

May 16, 2024 - 09:33 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks got off to a strong start Thursday on hopes for the US Federal Reserve's possible rate cut after slower-than-expected inflation in the world's largest economy.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 35.69 points, or 1.31 percent, to 2,766.03 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the US stock market closed at record highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.88 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite jumping 1.4 percent.

The latest consumer price index data showed that inflation in the world's largest economy was easing, fueling optimism that the Fed will cut its policy rate later this year.

In Seoul, most shares started in positive territory.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.66 percent and its chipmaking rival SK hynix jumped 3.62 percent.

Major carmaker Kia gained 1.05 percent, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution added 0.39 percent.

Top retailer Lotte Shopping advanced 1.3 percent, and leading bio firm Celltrion climbed 1.05 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,353.15 won against the US dollar, up 15.95 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)