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Seoul shares open higher on Fed's rate freeze

South Korean stocks kicked off higher on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve held its key rate steady as widely expected.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shot up 37.01 points, or 1.61 percent, to 2,338.57 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Overnight, the Fed held its benchmark lending rate steady at a 22-year high for a second consecutive time as it keeps striving to bring down inflation to its 2 percent target.

US stocks closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 0.67 percent and the Nasdaq Composite rising 1.64 percent.

In Seoul, top tech giant Samsung Electronics moved up 1.75 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 3.08 percent.

Battery makers also traded bullish, with LG Energy Solution rising 1.19 percent and Samsung SDI advancing 2.7 percent.

South Korea's leading online portal operator Naver increased 1.76 percent, and Kakao gained 1.46 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,344.80 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 12.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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