SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares opened higher Thursday after U.S. stocks rallied on optimism that a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling is within reach.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 15.4 points, or 0.62 percent, to 2,510.06 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.2 percent to 33,420.77, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3 percent to 12,500.57.
The U.S. government needs to lift the debt ceiling to cover its future spending plans and prevent defaulting on its debts. A failure by the U.S. government to raise the debt limit could trigger global financial chaos.
In Seoul, tech, auto and airline stocks led gains.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.5 percent to 66,000 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1 percent to 92,900 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 1 percent to 206,000 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Co. added 0.2 percent to 22,550 won.
Among decliners, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. fell 0.1 percent, while entertainment agencies HYBE and SM Entertainment declined 2.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 0.74 percent and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis went up 0.91 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,336.15 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 1.05 won from a session earlier.
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