SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks continued to trade sharply higher late Thursday morning on eased concerns over military tensions in the Middle East that also helped the local currency jump against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 23.52 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,174.83 as of 11:20 a.m.
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.
Most stock markets in Asia rallied on eased jitters over a military conflict in the Middle East that could hike global oil prices.
Japan's Nikkei spiked 1.90 percent, with the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.93 percent as of 11:20 a.m.
In Seoul, most large caps were in positive terrain with chipmakers continuing to build up gains on an outlook for a global price recovery.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics surged 2.11 percent, one day after the tech giant offered an expectation-beating fourth quarter earnings estimate.
No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.51 percent, while top portal operator NAVER added 0.82 percent.
Automakers, on the other hand, were in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor plunging 1.34 percent and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors tumbling 2.06 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,159.10 won to the dollar, sharply up 11.70 won, or 0.90 percent, from the previous session's close.
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