Seoul shares open higher on US gains after Fed comments

Seoul shares opened higher Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, buoyed by dovish comments on interest rates by Federal Reserve officials.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 44.09 points, or 1.84 percent, to 2,446.67 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent to 33,739.30, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6 percent to 13,562.84.

Traders have expected another rate hike this year due to higher-than-expected US employment data in September.

But Fed officials have begun to acknowledge a lesser need for further rate hikes given the current economic conditions, analysts said.

But traders are keeping a close eye on developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict for cues in reorganizing their investment portfolios.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2.6 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2.9 percent, leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 4.1 percent and national flag carrier Korean Air Co. was up 1.5 percent.

Among decliners, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. fell 0.6 percent, No. 3 refiner S-Oil Corp. declined 2.4 percent and the country's sole aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Co. shed 1.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,339.65 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 9.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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