Seoul shares open higher on US advance

South Korean stocks opened higher Friday tracking overnight gains on Wall Street amid expectations that the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening mode has passed.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shot up 20.62 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,363.74 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

US stocks closed higher overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 1.7 percent and the Nasdaq Composite rising 1.78 percent.

The Fed has kept its benchmark lending rate steady at a 22-year high for a second consecutive time this week and market players bet that its rate-hike cycle has ended.

In Seoul, tech shares led the overall growth, with top cap Samsung Electronics rising 0.29 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 0.48 percent.

Chemical shares kicked off higher as well, with chemical giant LG Chem increasing 3.29 percent and major oil refiner SK Innovation gaining 3.61 percent.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.05 percent, while its smaller sister Kia shed 0.25 percent. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved up 0.46 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,333.60 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 9.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)