South Korean stocks opened higher Wednesday, as investors see the likelihood of a debt ceiling deal passing US Congress.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 9.35 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,594.87 in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Overnight, Wall Street closed mixed as the debt ceiling deal reached between US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy went to Congress.
The deal now needs to receive enough bipartisan support before the June 5 deadline to avert a potentially devastating federal default.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.15 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.002 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.32 percent.
Earlier in the day, North Korea fired what it claims to be a "space launch vehicle" southward, but it fell into the Yellow Sea after an "abnormal" flight, the South Korean military said, in an apparently botched launch that defied international criticism and warnings.
In Seoul, tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics shed 0.41 percent, and chip giant SK hynix declined 0.45 percent.
Leading bio firm Samsung Biologics went down 0.26 percent.
Large-cap battery makers gained ground. LG Energy Solution jumped 3.45 percent, and Samsung SDI inched up 0.42 percent.
Carmakers also opened higher, with top automaker Hyundai Motor climbing 0.75 percent and Kia rising 1.4 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,318.9 won against the US dollar at 9:15 a.m., up 6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)