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Seoul shares open higher amid eased debt-ceiling woes

May 19, 2023 - 09:54 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares opened higher Friday, tracking Wall Street gains overnight, amid hopes that the US government will be able to avert a debt default.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 10.5 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,525.9 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to 33,535.91, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.5 percent to 12,688.84.

The US government needs to lift the debt ceiling to cover its future spending plans and prevent defaulting on its debts. A failure by the US government to raise the debt limit could trigger global financial chaos.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2.4 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2.5 percent, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. gained 0.2 percent, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.3 percent, and Jeju Air Co. added 0.2 percent.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 1 percent, the country's sole aircraft manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries Co., declined 0.2 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.9 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,333.25 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 0.95 won from a session earlier. (Yonhap)