Seoul stocks open higher on US gains ahead of rate decisions

Seoul stocks open higher on US gains ahead of rate decisions

South Korean shares opened higher Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street ahead of this week’s rate decision in Seoul and Washington.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 4.83 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,029.52 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The main index tracked overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.72 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbing 0.50 percent.

The stock markets rose as the parliament’s impeachment of President Park Geun-hye has lifted political uncertainties, said Lee Jun-hee, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

He said an interest rate hike in the United States is a fait accompli, though investors are likely to either take a wait-and-see attitude or remain cautious on this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.39 percent and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis Co. was up 1.35 percent.

Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.52 percent and top steelmaker POSCO was down 1.08 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,172.25 won against the US dollar, down 6.35 won from the previous session’s close.


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