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Seoul stocks open higher on stimulus hopes


South Korean shares opened higher on Monday on hopes for stimulus measures in major economies, bucking concerns over escalating tensions between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 15.37 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,215.81 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment improved in Seoul, following reports that US Republicans were set to roll out a $1 trillion COVID-19 aid package early this week, with support from the White House.

The escalating US-China tensions remained a risk, however, against signs that virus infections may be slowing.

Most large caps traded higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.48 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.72 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics advanced 0.93 percent, with leading chemical maker LG Chem remaining flat.

The country's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, climbed 0.41 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO added 1.29 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,199.65 won against the US dollar, up 1.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)