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Seoul shares open sharply higher on hopes for US rate cuts

March 21, 2024 - 10:34 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 opened sharply higher Thursday following record-high finishes on Wall Street afforded by hopes for US rate cuts this year.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 37.38 points, or 1.39 percent, to 2,727.52 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The US Federal Reserve kept its policy rate intact for a fifth consecutive session Wednesday at the 5.25 to 5.50 percent range but signaled as many as three rate cuts within the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.03 percent to finish at a new high of 39,512.13, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also reached new highs of 5,224.62 and 16,369.41, respectively.

In Seoul, most large caps were in positive terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.95 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix spiked 5.11 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 2.70 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors advancing 0.61 percent.

Lead battery maker LG Energy Solution added 0.98 percent, while its local rival Samsung SDI gained 1.43 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,328.15 won against the US dollar, up 11.65 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)