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Seoul shares up 0.52 pct late Thursday morning

All Headlines 11:41 December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded higher late Thursday morning, as investors welcomed signs of progress in the trade spat between the United States and China, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 10.87 points, or 0.52 percent, to reach 2,093.44 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index opened higher and maintained the momentum on buying by retail and foreign investors, though institutional selling limited the upswing.

Chemicals and steelmakers gained ground on the trading floor.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem surged 2.00 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO advanced 1.41 percent.

Auto shares also rose, with No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor adding 0.84 percent and Kia Motors advancing 1.55 percent.

But tech shares tumbled on profit-taking. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.49 percent, and SK hynix shed 1.36 percent.

Bio shares generally increased, though big-cap ones were mixed.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion skidded 2.65 percent, while Samsung BioLogics jumped 6.08 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,124.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.6 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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