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Seoul shares open higher on Wall Street gains

All News 09:39 March 05, 2020

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares opened higher Thursday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street over expectations of further monetary easing by other major central banks following a U.S. rate reduction.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.57 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,065.90 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The main index tracked overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.53 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 3.85 percent.

The U.S. stocks soared after former Vice President Joe Biden, widely seen as a business-friendly candidate, strengthened his chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said a rate cut in Canada and expectations of rate reductions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are helping boost investor sentiment.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in an apparent move to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea has reported more than 5,600 confirmed coronavirus cases, while the death toll reached 35 on Wednesday.

Most large-cap stocks rose across the board.

South Korea's No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.11 percent, leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics gained 0.61 percent and South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.77 percent.

Among decliners, Samsung Electronics fell 0.35 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,187.30 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session's close.


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