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Seoul stocks open lower on virus fear

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korean shares opened lower Friday amid concerns over a resurgence of the new coronavirus infections around the world.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 8.78 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,159.12 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment weakened globally as concerns of the spreading COVID-19 toll outweighed the economic rebound hopes.

The daily COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 60,000 for the first time Thursday (US time), with record deaths in Florida and Texas.

Growing virus fears hit the stock market with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.39 percent.

South Korea added 50 new COVID-19 infections Thursday.

The figure marked a steady decline since Sunday when it confirmed more than 60 cases for a third consecutive day, but health officials warned of sporadic cluster infections on the rise.

Most large caps in Seoul traded lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.19 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipping 0.12 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics shed 0.13 percent, and leading chemical maker LG Chem retreated 0.37 percent.

The country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor fell 1 percent. Leading steelmaker POSCO dropped 2.65 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,198.75 won against the US dollar, down 3.25 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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