Korean stocks start strong Monday as Fed's remarks raise hope
Stocks got off to a strong start Monday, as Federal Reserve officials' remarks raised hopes that the central bank may dial down the pace of its interest rate increases.
The benchmark Kospi gained 35.60 points, or 1.61 percent, to 2,248.72 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
While the market still widely predicts another 0.75 percentage-point rate hike by the Fed in December, Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, suggested planning for "stepping down" in the monetary tightening aimed at bringing down the decades-high inflation.
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans also said the interest rate increases should be put on hold at a little above 4.5 percent.
Hopes for a less aggressive Fed sent Wall Street rallying on Friday, with the major indexes closing up more than 2 percent.
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks gained ground across the Kospi, led by tech blue-chips. Samsung Electronics rose 1.8 percent, and SK hynix advanced more than 2 percent.
LG Chem was up 2 percent, and Posco added 1 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,432.20 won against the dollar as of 9:15 a.m., up 7.6 won from Friday's close.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [email@example.com]