Seoul shares open higher on chemical gains

South Korean stocks started higher Wednesday as petrochemicals rallied on the back of a rise in crude oil prices.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 4.28 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,052.68 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Refiners were up as crude oil prices rose about 4 percent as a rally in U.S. gasoline and diesel added support to oil markets.

Top refiner SK Innovation increased 2.13 percent and No. 3 S-Oil surged 1.59 percent.

SK, the de facto holding firm of energy and telecom giant SK Group, gained 1.57 percent following the previous session’s sharp fall on rumor that it may acquire cash-strapped shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The company denied the report.

In contrast, Daewoo Shipbuilding declined 3.27 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,129.5 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 3.6 won from Tuesday’s close. (Yonhap)


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