Seoul shares open higher on Fed's rate pause hopes
Seoul shares opened higher Monday amid increasing hopes the US Federal Reserve is set to end its rate-hike cycle.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 14.43 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,519.44 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
On Friday, all three major US indexes rallied on growing optimism that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to hit its highest level in over a year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6 percent.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said its monetary policy is slowing the US economy as expected with its policy rate "well into restrictive territory."
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks started in positive terrain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 1.11 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.13 percent.
Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution rose 0.35 percent, and its smaller rivals Samsung SDI and Posco Future M added 0.78 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.
Major oil refinery SK Innovation soared 2.38 percent.
IT stocks also gained ground, with internet portal operator Naver up 1.21 percent and Kakao, the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, up 1.01 percent.
But auto shares were mixed, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor flat and its smaller affiliate Kia down 0.58 percent.
Top chemical producer LG Chem retreated 0.82 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,296.20 won against the US dollar, up 9.60 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)