Seoul shares open higher on Fed’s rate-cut hopes

Seoul shares opened higher Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street, after weekly U.S. jobless claims data offered fresh hope for the Federal Reserve's rate cuts this year. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 28.15 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,740.29 in the first 15 minutes of trading. The number of U.S. jobless claims jumped last week to the highest level in more than eight months, renewing hopes for the Fed's rate cuts. Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.9 percent to 39,387.76 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent to 16,346.26. In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.3 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. added 1.1 percent, and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. was up 0.4 percent. Among decliners, flat-screen maker LG Display Co. dropped 0.4 percent, K-pop powerhouse Hybe fell 0.6 percent, and internet portal operator Naver Cor p. shed 0.1 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,367.55 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.55 won from the previous session's close. Source: Yonhap News Agency