Seoul stocks got off to a strong start Wednesday as investors bet the US Federal Reserve will go easy on its aggressive monetary tightening.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 28.09 points, or 1.17 percent, to 2423.35 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Major indexes on Wall Street closed mixed overnight, while chipmakers, such as AMD and Qualcomm, sharply rose on hope for better business performance down the road.
Investors are also keeping a close watch on the Fed's next rate policy move.
In Seoul, IT shares gathered ground, while financial stocks fell.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.21 percent, while smaller rival SK hynix added 3.65 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver was up 2.3 percent.
The local currency had been trading at 1,234.7 won against the greenback as of 9:15 a.m., up 0.8 won from the previous session' close.
South Korea's stock market was closed on Monday and Tuesday due to the Lunar New Year holiday. (Yonhap)