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Seoul stocks extend gains late Tuesday morning on China stimulus

All News 11:22 February 04, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks extended gains late Tuesday morning as China released stimulus plans to support its economy amid the spreading coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had risen 32.69 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,151.57 as of 11:10 a.m. The main index ended nearly flat at 2,118.88 on Monday after plunging 5.7 percent last week.

Investors will keep a close eye on the Shanghai stock market on Tuesday after China added stimulus measures to shore up growth and the People's Bank of China announced its plan to inject $21.7 billion into markets last week, analysts said.

Investors will remain wary as global stock markets are highly volatile due to the epidemic that is continuing to spread across borders and is driving down demand in China, the world's second-biggest economy after the United States.

Since emerging out of the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed at least 425 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Tuesday and reached 24 countries including the U.S.

South Korea has reported 16 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

Foreigners and individuals bought a combined 455 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting institutions' net selling of stocks valued at 458 billion won.

In Seoul, tech, auto, steel and airline stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2.5 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2.3 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.8 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. gained 0.9 and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Among losers, dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. fell 2 percent, and leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. declined 0.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,189.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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