SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares opened higher Monday amid woes over high inflation, rate hikes and an economic slowdown.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 13.52 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,617.76 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
On Friday, Seoul shares bounced back to snap an eight-session losing streak, as investors scooped up large-cap stocks on bargain hunting.
U.S. stocks also closed higher after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the Fed was not "actively considering" a more aggressive 75 basis point hike. The S&P 500 increased 2.4 percent, and the Nasdaq jumped 3.8 percent.
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.75 percent, the country's largest chemical company LG Chem also was up 0.78 percent, and internet giant Naver gained 1.09 percent.
The local currency had been trading at 1,277.10 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 7.10 won from the previous session's close.
Display, electronics makers dealt blow by COVID-19 lockdowns in China
S. Korean firms in delicate balancing act over U.S. economic framework
(News Focus) BOK expected to seek further rate hikes but place more weight on growth: experts
Yoon to seek small gov't stance to spur economic growth
Having passed major regulatory hurdle for Intel deal, SK hynix eyes economies of scale, sharper competitive edge