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Seoul stocks start higher on China's stimulus plan amid virus woes

All News 09:27 February 04, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened higher Tuesday as investors weigh China's upcoming stimulus program to support its economy to reduce any fallout from the new coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.35 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,133.23 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Monday, the KOSPI inched up 0.01 percent to close at 2,118.88 after plunging 5.7 percent last week amid growing concerns about the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

China's stimulus plans to shore up its growth and upbeat data from the United States gave a boost to investor sentiment, analysts said.

Since the virus broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed more than 400 and infected over 20,000 people in China and reached 24 countries, as far away as the U.S.

So far, South Korea has reported 15 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

Large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.4 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 0.6 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO gained 1.4 percent.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 0.4 percent, dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. declined 1 percent, and cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. was up 0.3 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,190.15 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.85 won from the previous session's close.
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