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S. Korean shares open higher on ECB steps

All Headlines 09:20 March 11, 2016

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks started higher on Friday as the European Central Bank (ECB) rolled out stronger than expected easing measures.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 0.84 point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,970.17 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Thursday, the ECB unveiled market expectation-beating measures by cutting all its interest rates and expanding the scope of its bond-buying program, but its chief, Mario Draghi, ruled out the possibility of additional rate cuts down the road.

Tech shares traded higher, with top player Samsung Electronics adding 1.06 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the nation's leading automaker, rose 0.34 percent.

In contrast, state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. suffered 0.52 percent fall, and chipmaker SK hynix was down 0.66 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,207.60 against the U.S. dollar, down 4.15 won from the previous session's close.

sam@yna.co.kr
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