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Seoul shares open higher amid lingering recession woes

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korean shares opened higher Monday amid lingering concerns that the global economy is teetering on the brink of a recession.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 9.94 points, or 0.42 percent, to trade at 2,403.08 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Foreigners and institutions went on a buying mode, while retail investors sold shares.

Last Friday, U.S. stocks ended lower on tech losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.87 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 0.93 percent. But all three major indexes closed out the week higher than the previous week.

In Seoul, big-cap shares traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.65 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix remained flat.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 2.88 percent, and its affiliate Kia also added 2.47 percent.

Samsung Biologics lost 0.12 percent, and pharmaceutical company Celltrion went up 0.56 percent.

Battery giant LG Energy Solution dropped 1.96 percent, and major chemical firm LG Chem rose 0.89 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,311 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2 won from the previous session's close.

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