SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares trimmed earlier gains late Thursday morning after Wall Street gains amid hopes for a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling to avert debt default.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.88 points, or 0.60 percent, to 2,509.54 as of 11:20 a.m.
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.
Foreigners bought a net 261 billion won (US$196 million) worth of stocks, offsetting institutions and individuals' stock selling valued at 263 billion won.
In Seoul, tech, auto and airline stocks led gains.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.5 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.7 percent, and LG Chem Ltd. was up 0.4 percent.
Among decliners, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. fell 1.1 percent, entertainment agency Hybe declined 0.9 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO Holdings shed 0.3 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,330.75 won against the greenback at around 11:20 a.m., up 6.45 won from a session earlier.
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