Seoul stocks sharply up late Wed. morning amid eased inflation woes

SEOUL-- South Korean shares traded higher late Wednesday morning as investors bet that inflation in the United States may have peaked and China partly eased its COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 29.48 points, or 1.11 percent, to 2,696.24 as of 11:20 a.m.

Consumer prices in the United States spiked 8.5 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest jump since December 1981.

Investors had girded themselves for the Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening to tame runaway inflation, but they expect the inflationary pressure to ease down the road.

Overnight, the U.S. stock markets closed lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.26 percent, and the S&P500 slipped 0.3 percent. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slightly fell to 2.72 percent, still around the highest since early 2019.

China also lifted some of its virus restrictions in Shanghai, partly easing woes over the global supply disruptions.

On the Seoul bourse, shares mostly traded higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.34 percent, and key battery maker LG Energy Solution inched up 1.95 percent.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.9 percent, and LG Chem rose 0.59 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor also added 1.12 percent, and its affiliate Kia increased 1.30 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,227.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9.0 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency