SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened higher on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as the U.S. and China are reportedly nearing a deal that would avoid tariffs due to kick in mid-December.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.60 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,080.71 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
U.S. stocks gained overnight after U.S. President Donald Trump said discussions with China are going very well.
News that Washington and Beijing are getting closer to a phase-one trade deal helped buoy investor appetite for risk assets after concerns emerged earlier in the week when Trump cast doubt over a potential trade deal with China.
Trump said Tuesday (local time) he didn't mind waiting another year before striking a deal with China. The comment put investors in a selling mood.
Tech, steel and airline stocks led gains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.3 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 2.2 percent, leading steelmaker POSCO gained 1.1 percent and national flag carrier Korean Air was up 0.6 percent.
Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.4 percent, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 1 percent and cosmetics giant AmorePacific Corp. shed 0.8 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,189.70 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.6 won from the previous session's close.