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S. Korean stocks open higher on Wall Street gains

All Headlines 09:31 January 07, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares opened higher on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street, with all eyes focused on the dovish turn by the Federal Reserve and the U.S.-China trade talks that begin this week.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shot up 30.61 points, or 1.52 percent, to reach 2,040.86 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investors are keen to see how Chinese and other markets respond to the Fed's policy easing announced late on Friday (U.S. time) and how the first face-to-face trade negotiations of the year between Washington and Beijing will proceed.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank needs to be patient and flexible in policy decision this year to ease market worries about an economic slowdown.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.89 percent and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.42 percent.

Among decliners, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 2.19 percent, and industry leader Hankook Tire Co. shed 0.99 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,116.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.90 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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