Seoul shares open tad higher amid eased woes over global banking sector

South Korean stocks opened a tad higher Monday amid eased woes over the global banking sector.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 3.34 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,399.03 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, U.S. shares ended lower due to the decrease in banking stocks in the wake of the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.19 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.74 percent.

According to media reports on Sunday, Swiss authorities have been pushing for a forced takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS in an effort to avoid further turmoil in the global banking sector.

In Seoul, tech blue chips went down, offsetting gains of big-cap bio and platform shares.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.98 percent, and chip giant SK hynix lost 0.12 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution sank 0.9 percent, and LG Chem went down 0.14 percent.

But Samsung Biologics rose 1.49 percent, and Celltrion grew 0.77 percent.

Internet giant Naver surged 1.77 percent, and Kakao, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, advanced 1.33 percent.

Carmakers traded mixed, with No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor going up 0.17 percent, while its affiliate Kia slid 0.75 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,299.70 won against the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 2.5 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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