SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened higher Monday, backed by strong advances by tech and bio heavyweights amid the resurgent coronavirus outbreaks.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10.42 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,563.92 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The KOSPI got off to a mild gain on foreign buying as large caps traded higher amid signs of economic recovery, including an 11.1 percent on-year jump in South Korean export in the first 20 days of November.
Bio shares also continued to perform well with vaccine hopes running high.
South Korean authorities raised the social distancing scheme to Level 2 over the weekend, which will go into effect Tuesday as the country's new daily infections remained high.
Most large caps traded higher.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.08 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 1.34 percent.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, advanced 0.28 percent.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.66 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 0.78 percent.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics moved up 1.25 percent, and Celltrion hiked 1.85 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver shed 0.36 percent, but its rival Kakao added 0.55 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,114.15 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.15 won from the previous session's close.