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Seoul stocks open sharply higher on eased Mideast concerns

All News 09:22 January 09, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened significantly higher Thursday after the United States appeared to back away from military options against Iran. The local currency jumped sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 28.42 points, or 1.32 percent, to reach 2,179.73 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The rebound came one day after the index plunged more than 1 percent on escalating military tensions in the Middle East following Iran's missile attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday (U.S. time) said no U.S. personnel were killed or injured in the attacks, adding his country will respond with economic sanctions instead of military attacks.

The U.S. stock market closed on an upbeat note Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 161.41 points, or 0.56 percent.

Most large caps were in positive terrain in Seoul.

Chipmakers continued to build up gains. Market kingpin Samsung Electronics surged 1.41 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.72 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 1.34 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gaining 0.36 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,161.35 won to the dollar, sharply up 9.45 won, or 0.81 percent, from the previous session's close.


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