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S. Korean shares open higher on Samsung's upswing

All News 09:18 January 19, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks started higher Thursday, bucking overnight Wall Street losses, as concerns about a possible leadership crisis at Samsung Electronics eased.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.98 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,088.52 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.05 points, or 0.11 percent, to 19,804.72.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 2.06 percent as a Seoul court turned down an arrest warrant sought for its de-facto head Lee Jae-yong alleged to have bribed President Park Geun-hye. The Samsung heir also faces embezzlement and perjury charges.

Global chipmaker SK hynix also ascended 1.94 percent, while leading automaker Hyundai Motor shed 0.65 percent. State-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. added 0.23 percent and top steelmaker POSCO jumped 3.17 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,177.75 won against the U.S. dollar, down 11.75 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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