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Seoul shares open higher amid mixed signals for US rate cut

May 13, 2024 - 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 Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks opened higher Monday while investors remained watchful over mixed signals for the US Federal Reserve's future monetary policy.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 9.42 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,737.05 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained ground for the fourth consecutive week, and the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted increases for the third straight week.

But on Friday, Wall Street closed mixed as investors faced different signals for the Fed's policy direction amid sticky inflation data and hawkish comments by Fed officials.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.76 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.22 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. added 1.66 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia gained 0.96 percent.

Financial shares kicked off in a bullish mode, with KB Financial Group up 2.52 percent, Shinhan Financial Group up 2.09 percent and Hana Financial Group up 2.58 percent.

But battery and IT shares started weak.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution dropped 0.78 percent, and its rival Samsung SDI retreated 1.52 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver Corp. plunged 2.33 percent amid a row over the popular messenger application Line, and Kakao fell 0.73 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,371.40 won against the US dollar, down 3.30 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)