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Seoul shares open higher on Wall Street gains

All News 09:29 March 03, 2020

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares opened sharply higher Tuesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street over expectations of rate cuts in the United States and other countries to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 42.70 points, or 2.13 percent, to 2,045.21 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The main index tracked overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.09 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 4.49 percent.

Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said expectations of rates cuts by central banks around the world gave a boost to the South Korean main index.

South Korea has reported more than 4,600 confirmed coronavirus cases, while the death toll reached 28 on Monday.

Most large-cap stocks rose across the board.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics rose 2.91 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix was up 2.61 percent.

Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics gained 2.14 percent, and South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.76 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,188.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.20 won from the previous session's close.


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