Seoul shares sharply up late Fri. morning following Wall Street rally

South Korean stocks surged more than 2 percent late Friday morning, in line with overnight Wall Street gains bolstered by big tech companies' earnings. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index climbed 54.62 points, or 2.15 percent, to 2,597.08 as of 11:20 a.m. Overnight, U.S. stocks gained ground as investors looked forward to earnings reports from Apple, Amazon and Meta Platforms. The S and P 500 gained 1.2 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq composite both rose 1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Seoul investors apparently took note of positive fourth-quarter earnings by all three U.S. tech giants, which were announced after the close of Wall Street's trading session. In Seoul, chip and auto shares led the overall gains, with Samsung Electronics jumping 1.36 percent and Hyundai Motor surging 6.49 percent. Financial stocks and internet portal operators also got a strong boost. KB Financial climbed 7.67 percent, and Naver jumped 5.68 percent after stellar fourth-qu arter earnings. Battery makers and energy shares also advanced, with LG Energy Solution rising 2.75 percent and SK Innovation jumping 2.39 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,326.15 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.65 won from the previous session's close. Source: Yonhap News Agency