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Seoul stocks open higher on U.S. gains, China stimulus

All News 09:22 February 05, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened higher Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors took solace from China's countermeasures to buffer economic fallout from the spreading new coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20.34 points, or 0.94 percent, to 2,178.24 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investors appear relieved due to China's cash injection plan and stimulus measures to shore up its economy.

Foreigners and individuals continue to buy local stocks, offsetting institutional selling. Foreigners and retail investors bought a combined 134.8 billion won (US$114 million) worth of stocks, while institutions sold 134.7 billion won in stocks.

Since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus had killed 490 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Wednesday and reached 24 countries, including the U.S.

South Korea had reported 16 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday.

Large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1.7 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.3 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.4 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO was up 1.2 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 1,184.95 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.45 won from the previous session's close.
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