The stock market in South Korea opened higher and is trading in positive territory on Monday morning, unfazed by the rocket launch by North Korea on Sunday. Optimism that the rocket launch will have limited impact on the South Korean economy, positive closing by Wall Street and comments by Ben Bernanke that the initiatives to unclog the credit markets are beginning to yield positive results lifted the market sentiment.
On Friday, the Dow closed up 39.51 points or 0.5% at 8,018, the Nasdaq closed up 19.24 points or 1.2% at 1,622 and the S&P 500 closed up 8.12 points or 1% at 842.
In Asian trading, crude oil is currently up $0.64 at $53.15 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed down $0.18 at $52.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday, after dismal employment report fueled concerns over energy demand.
The benchmark KOSPI Index opened Monday's session at 1,292, higher than its previous close of 1,284, and is currently trading at 1,313, up 29.40 points, or 2.29%. Almost all the sectors are advancing on optimism about recovery in the global economy.
The local currency, the Won, opened higher against the US greenback at 1330 Won per US$, up from 1,340.50 Won, and is currently quoted at 1,325 Won per US$.
Among technology stocks, Hynix Semiconductor is rising 12.50%, LG Electronics is advancing 1.42%, and LG Display is gaining 5.45%. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is gaining 2.70%.
Among the automakers, Hyundai Motor is gaining 2.93%, Kia Motor is advancing 1.67% and Ssangyong Motor is adding 2.33%.
Financials are also trading higher. KB Financial Group is moving up 1.59%, Shinhan Financial is advancing 3.11% and Woori Finance is gaining 2.98%.
Oil-related stocks are moving to the upside. SK Holdings is gaining 1.26% and, S-Oil is adding 0.34%.
Shipbuilders are advancing. Hyundai Heavy Industries is gaining 4.50%, Samsung Heavy Industries is adding 4.44%, and Daewoo Shipping is rising 5.84%.
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