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Seoul stocks open higher on U.S. stimulus hopes

Stocks 09:22 March 26, 2020

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened higher Thursday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street buoyed by U.S. stimulus hopes amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had risen 15.24 points, or 0.89 percent, to 1,720.00 as of 9:15 a.m.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its first back-to-back gain since February by climbing 2.4 percent to end at 21,200.55 points on Wednesday (local time).

U.S. stocks rallied after the White House and congressional leaders said they had agreed to a massive stimulus bill to tackle the economic slowdown from the new coronavirus pandemic.

However, the market cooled down later after some Senators said they plan to put a hold on the stimulus bill over an unemployment insurance proposal.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks had a mixed start.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics moved up 0.51 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.72 percent.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.20 percent, and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis climbed 1.47 percent.

However, leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics shed 1.26 percent, while top steelmaker POSCO lost 0.62 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,228.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.5 won from the previous session's close.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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