South Korean stocks edged higher shortly after starting a tad lower Thursday, as investors were little fazed by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks reaffirming the interest rate hike campaign is not over.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 8.82 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,573.01 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Speaking at a European Central Bank forum in Portugal on Wednesday (local time), Powell reiterated that the Fed will further raise its interest rates this year and one could be carried out at the next monetary policy meeting set for July.
Powell said it's likely inflation won't come down to near the Fed's target of 2 percent this year or next.
In Seoul, tech heavyweights led the gains. Top-cap Samsung Electronics rose 0.4 percent and leading battery maker LG Energy Solution climbed 1.5 percent.
Chemical blue-chip LG Chem advanced 1.5 percent.
Auto and financial stocks fell. Hyundai Motor lost 0.3 percent and its auto parts making affiliate Hyundai Mobis slid 0.6 percent.
Major banking firm Shinhan Financial shed 0.6 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,309.60 won against the U.S. dollar at around 9:15 a.m., down 2.3 won from Wednesday's close.
Source: Yonhap News Agency