S. Korean shares open higher on U.S. gains
SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares opened higher Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as investors increasingly bets on risky assets following the Federal Reserve's dovish stance.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 5.22 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,992.52 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.90 percent to 17,481.49, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 0.23 percent to 4,774.98.
Techs, automobiles and builders were in positive territory, with bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 0.63 percent and top automaker Hyundai Motor climbing 1.37 percent.
Among decliners, No. 2 shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine fell 2.48 percent and leading refiner SK Innovation plunged 0.93 percent.
The Korean currency was trading at 1,160.90 won against the dollar, up 11.90 won from Thursday's close.