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Seoul shares down in late morning amid Turkey crisis

All Headlines 11:35 August 13, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded down late Monday morning, as foreign buyers went on a buying binge amid a mounting currency crisis in Turkey that sparked concerns over possible contagion spreading to emerging markets.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 29.70 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,253.09 as of 11:20 a.m.

After opening lower, the index skidded further due to heavy sell-offs by overseas investors and institutions that effectively offset retailers' solid buying.

The weak investor sentiment came as the Turkish lira tumbled last week after the United States slapped tariffs on Turkey's steel exports. The currency woes have ignited fears over ripple effects on the global economy, according to experts.

Losses were deep and wide across the board in Seoul.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics fell 1.1 percent, and LG Electronics sank 2.78 percent. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor retreated 0.79 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO dropped 2.9 percent.

Bio shares also drifted lower. Samsung BioLogics, a leading biopharmaceutical firm and affiliate of Samsung Group, shed 2.69 percent, and Celltrion dipped 3.49 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,134.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.6 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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