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Seoul shares open higher on hopes of easing inflation

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

South Korean stocks opened higher Friday, tracking the overnight US rally partly fueled by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision to increase the oil supply that helped ease inflation concerns.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.09 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,676.08 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The OPEC Plus decided Thursday (local time) to add 648,000 barrels per day to the market next month, raising the size from the 432,000 barrels per day that it had previously set.

US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said there is little chance for a pause in rate hikes and at least a couple more 0.5 percentage-point hikes are likely, confirming the Fed's firm stance on the policy direction.

In Seoul, most top-listed firms traded higher, with steel giant POSCO Holdings gaining more than 2 percent and platform operator Kakao jumping more than 3 percent.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics added about 0.3 percent.

Auto related shares lost ground. Kia, the smaller affiliate of Hyundai Motor, shed about 0.5 percent, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis slipped about 0.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,243.60 won against the US dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 8.5 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap)

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