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Seoul shares open higher as US debt jitters ease

May 30, 2023 - 09:42 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened higher Tuesday on a breakthrough in US debt ceiling negotiations.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 17.36 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,576.17 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Over the weekend, US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Now, the deal would need to get enough bipartisan support in Congress before the June 5 deadline to avert a potentially devastating federal default.

South Korean financial markets were closed Monday for a substitute public holiday for Buddha's Birthday, which fell on Saturday. US stock markets were also closed Monday for Memorial Day.

In Seoul, tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 1.85 percent, and chip giant SK hynix advanced 1.83 percent on continued optimism over an artificial intelligence-led chip boom.

Large-cap battery makers gained ground. LG Energy Solution added 0.52 percent, and Samsung SDI jumped 2.45 percent. Leading bio firm Samsung Biologics climbed 0.51 percent.

Meanwhile, carmakers opened lower, with top automaker Hyundai Motor skidding 1.7 percent and Kia falling 1.03 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,321.7 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 2.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)