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Seoul shares nearly flat on mixed blue chips

All Headlines 09:37 December 11, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened nearly unchanged Tuesday as major top-cap shares traded mixed throughout the bourse amid a lack of fresh leads.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index inched down 0.88 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,052.91 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Institutions and foreigners were on a selling mode, offsetting solid buying by retail investors.

Overnight, Wall Street went up following big losses in the previous session. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.14 percent and the Nasdaq composite surged 0.84 percent.

Tech shares on the Seoul bourse, in general, were in positive terrain, while auto and steel shares were under downward pressure.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.5 percent, and major chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.76 percent.

No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.36 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO retreated 1.41 percent.

Major bio shares were mixed. Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion tumbled 5.52 percent, while Samsung BioLogics spiked 19.28 percent on the first day of trading after an 18-day suspension. On Monday, the bourse operator, Korea Exchange, decided to allow the biotech firm's shares to resume trading on the main bourse after having been suspended since Nov. 14 after the financial regulator's ruling on its accounting fraud.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,129.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.8 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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