Seoul shares open higher amid woes over rate cut delay

South Korean stocks started higher Thursday as investors hunted for bargains following a recent decline amid speculations over a potential delay in U.S. interest rate cuts this year. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 26.08 points, or 1.01 percent, to 2,610.26 in the first 15 minutes of trading. Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.12 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.15 percent. The Federal Reserve said in the Beige Book that the economy has expanded slightly, and inflation still remained elevated, raising concerns that the Fed may postpone rate cuts. Tensions between Israel and Iran also continued to weigh down on investor sentiment. In Seoul, top tech giant Samsung Electronics remained unchanged from the previous session, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.34 percent. Top battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 2.06 percent. Carmakers, on the other hand, traded higher, with Hyundai Motors rising 1.28 percent and Kia gaining 0.09 percent. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 1.28 percent. The local currency was trading at 1,380.6 won against the greenback, up 6.2 won from the previous session's close. Source: Yonhap News Agency