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Seoul stocks open higher on U.S.-China trade hopes

All News 09:23 December 06, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened higher Friday as investors cling to hopes for a potential U.S.-China trade deal.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 13.30 points, or 0.65 percent, to 2,074.04 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday (local time) that discussions with China are "moving along well," reviving investor expectations that a phase-one trade deal could be signed before the Dec. 15 deadline when a next round of U.S. tariffs are scheduled to be imposed on Chinese products.

But investors will also remain cautious due to Trump's contradictory comments before the two sides come up with any concrete progress to end their yearlong trade war, analysts said.

In Seoul, tech, auto and steel stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.1 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.9 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO was up 0.7 percent.

Among decliners, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 0.4 percent, and dominant tobacco company KT&G declined 0.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,187.05 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.15 won from the previous session's close.

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