SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened sharply higher Tuesday, apparently tracking overnight gains on Wall Street.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 11.54 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,166.61 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The rise follows two consecutive sessions of heavy losses, largely sparked by growing tensions between the United States and oil-producing countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq.
The index plunged nearly 1 percent on Monday, joining other major stock markets in their latest downward trend.
The U.S. stock market, however, closed 68.50 points, or 0.24 percent, higher at 28,703.38 on Monday (New York time), with investors apparently on a hunt for bargains.
In Seoul, most major caps were in positive terrain.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics advanced 0.54 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 0.11 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.43 percent, while top chemical company LG Chem rose 0.16 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,166.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.70 won from the previous session's close.
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