Seoul stocks open tad higher on brisk M&As, vaccine hopes

South Korean shares open slightly higher Tuesday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains that stemmed from brisk M&A deals and progress in coronavirus vaccine development.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.73 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,430.64 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment was boosted by progress made in large acquisition deals by large firms for tech and bio blue chips, including the video-sharing app TikTok and drugmaker Immunomedics.

Growing optimism for COVID-19 vaccines also added vigor to the local stock market. The chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer predicted that the US will be able to deploy the COVID-19 shot before the end of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 327.69 points, or 1.18 percent, to close at 27,993.33 on Monday (New York time). The Nasdaq Composite added 1.87 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 1.27.

In Seoul, most large caps traded higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.66 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 1.62 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics slid 0.26 percent, while Celltrion edged up 0.17 percent.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem advanced 0.42 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 0.69 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver gained 0.99 percent, with its rival Kakao up 0.8 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, rose 0.56 percent, but top steelmaker Posco retreated 1.58 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,182.65 won against the US dollar, up 0.85 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

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