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Seoul shares open higher on eased banking crisis woes

March 22, 2023 - 09:35 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, tracking US gains overnight, as concerns about a global banking sector crisis have eased, with eyes on the Federal Reserve's upcoming monetary policy path.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 16.33 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,404.68 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, US shares rose, as investors welcomed the rescue of Credit Suisse by Swiss banking giant UBS in a move to stem the contagion of turmoil in the global financial sector sparked by the failure of American lenders over the past several weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.98 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.58 percent.

Investors now await the results of the Federal Reserve's two-day rate-setting meeting set to end Wednesday.

In Seoul, most big-cap shares gathered ground.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.5 percent, and chip giant SK hynix increased 0.6 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 2.01 percent, and Samsung SDI advanced 0.7 percent. LG Chem surged 2.36 percent.

Carmakers also rose, with No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor climbing 0.8 percent and its affiliate Kia adding 0.77 percent.

Internet giant Naver soared 1.75 percent, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, advanced 1.31 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,305.75 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 5.45 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)