Seoul shares sharply up late Mon. morning on bargain hunting

SEOUL-- Seoul shares extended gains late Monday morning as investors speculate the pace of the Federal Reserve's rate hikes could be slower than expected due to global recession woes.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 39.8 points, or 1.68 percent, to 2,406.35 as of 11:20 a.m.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.7 percent to 31,500.68 points and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 3.3 percent to 11,607.62.

The Fed recently raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage point to tame inflation that is running at a 40-year high.

Investors are buying local stocks on bargain hunting, taking a cue from gains in U.S. shares.

Most large-cap stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.4 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. jumped 4 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 5.2 percent, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was up 1.6 percent.

Among losers, leading refiner SK Innovation Co. fell 0.3 percent, and No. 1 wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. declined 0.2 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,284.90 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., up 13.30 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency