Seoul Stocks Surge Following Record Highs on Wall StreetMajor Fire Destroys 227 Stores at Seocheon’s Traditional Market

SEOUL – South Korean stocks opened with notable gains on Tuesday, buoyed by the strong performance of U.S. shares that reached record highs due to increasing optimism about the U.S. economy. In the early trading session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) registered an increase of 9.84 points, or 0.4 percent, climbing to 2,474.19.

According to Yonhap News Agency, this surge in Seoul's stock market follows a robust showing on Wall Street, where major indexes hit all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up by 0.36 percent, reaching a new peak, while the SandP 500 also set a record high with a 0.22 percent rise. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index followed suit, gaining 0.32 percent.

In Seoul, major players in different sectors showed mixed results in the early trading. Samsung Electronics, the leading technology firm, opened unchanged. SK hynix, the second-largest chipmaker in South Korea, saw a decline of 1.33 percent. However, LG Energy Solution, a prominent battery manufacturer, experienced a 1.08 percent increase in its stock value.

The automotive sector also witnessed a positive start. Hyundai Motor, the industry leader, advanced by 1.55 percent, while its affiliate Kia Motors reported a 0.57 percent gain. Hyundai Mobis, an auto parts supplier, added 1.01 percent to its stock value. Additionally, IT giants in the region started the day on a high note, with Naver rising 0.69 percent and Kakao, the operator of KakaoTalk, South Korea's top mobile messenger, enjoying a 0.71 percent increase.

The South Korean currency, the won, was trading at 1,339 won against the U.S. dollar, marking a slight decrease of 0.1 won from the previous session's close. This trend reflects the broader impact of global economic sentiments on the South Korean financial market.

SEOUL – A large fire at a marine products market in the central county of Seocheon resulted in the destruction of 227 shops, officials reported on Tuesday. Thankfully, there were no human casualties.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the fire started at 11:08 p.m. on Monday. Firefighters, numbering 361 and supported by 45 fire engines, brought the major flames under control within two hours. The blaze was completely extinguished by 7:55 a.m., as stated by officials. Although no one was inside the market at the time of the fire, out of a total of 292 stores, 227 were destroyed, including all 121 shops selling marine goods. Fortunately, the annex building housing agricultural products was not affected.

Authorities noted the difficulty in extinguishing the fire, attributing it to the dense structure of the traditional market and strong winds present at the time. Local officials issued warnings to residents about potential risks from toxic gases near the market. Fire authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire and assessing the extent of the damage.

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