South Korean shares opened sharply higher Thursday, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street over economic rebound hopes.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 22.26 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,334.12 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The index came to a strong start after closing at a nearly two-year high in the previous session.
Investor sentiment remained high despite the nationwide downpour and concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Stocks lifted over rosy expectations that the US stimulus package is nearing an accord, in addition to improvements in economic indexes in major economies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 373.05 points, or 1.39 percent, to close at 27,201.52 on Wednesday (New York time). The tech-laden NASDAQ Composite advanced 0.52 percent to a new record.
Most large caps traded higher in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.41 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbing 0.25 percent.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.38 percent, while Celltrion slipped 0.16 percent.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem hiked 1.04 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO rose 1.80 percent.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, spiked 5.22 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors jumping 2.68 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver shed 0.16, and its rival Kakao retreated 2.16 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,183.75 won against the US dollar, up 5.05 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)