The stock market in South Korea is trading in positive territory on Monday morning, led by automakers and ship builders on expectations of revival in the global economy. The markets in the U.S. and Europe were closed for holiday on Friday.

On Thursday, the major indices on Wall Street surged up more than 3% following positive quarterly results from Wells Fargo, raising hopes that that the financials were not a lost cause. Additionally, some better-than-expected economic data contributed to the improved sentiment. The Dow closed up 246.27 points or 3.14% at 8,083, the Nasdaq closed up 61.88 points or 3.89% at 1,653 and the S&P 500 closed up 31.40 points or 3.81% at 857.

In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $0.42 at $51.82 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery rose about 6% or $2.86 to $52.34 a barrel on Thursday, following better-than-expected results from retailers suggesting a possible rise in consumer spending.

The benchmark KOSPI Index opened Monday's session at 1,342, higher than its previous close of 1,336, and is currently trading at 1,339, up 3.37 points, or 025%.

The local currency, the Won, opened lower against the US greenback at 1335 Won per US$, down from 1,333 Won, and is currently quoted at 1,336.50 Won per US$.

On economic front, a report released by Bank of Korea revealed that spending on private education during the year 2008 increased 7.6% despite weaker financial and economic conditions in the country. According to the report, the parents in South Korea spent 18.72 trillion won, equivalent to $14 billion, during 2008, 7.6% more than the earlier year.

Automakers and shipbuilders are leading the gains, while financials are trading mixed in early trading.

Among the automakers, Hyundai Motor is rising 2.94%, and Kia Motor is advancing 3.20%. Ssangyong Motor is gaining 5.25%. Among the shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries is gaining 2.64%, Daewoo Shipping is rising 3.63%, and Samsung Heavy Industries is advancing 5.64%.

Financials are trading mixed. While KB Financial Group is gaining 1.70%, Shinhan Financial is falling 0.17% and Woori Finance is trading unchanged from previous close.

Technology stocks are trading weak. Hynix Semiconductor is losing 1.48%, LG Electronics is falling 0.51%, and LG Display is down 0.31%. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is falling 2.32%.

Among oil-related stocks, S-Oil is losing 1.21% while SK Holdings is edging down 0.84%.

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