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Seoul shares open higher on stock short selling ban

South Korean stocks opened higher Monday as the country launched a temporary ban on stock short selling to crack down on illegal market practices by global investment banks.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index climbed 48.16 points, or 2.03 percent, to 2,416.50 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Sunday, the Financial Services Commission announced the ban on stock short selling, effective starting Monday through the end of June 2024, citing concerns about growing market volatility and the illegal short selling practices undermining market stability.

In Seoul, steel and battery shares led the overall gains, with top steelmaker Posco Holdings rising 7.42 percent and leading battery company LG Energy Solution soaring 10.45 percent.

Chemical shares kicked off higher as well, with chemical giant LG Chem increasing 4.35 percent and major oil refiner SK Innovation gaining 4.74 percent.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.98 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia added 0.9 percent. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved up 0.46 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,312.05 won against the U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 10.35 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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