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Seoul stocks trim earlier gains amid virus woes

All News 11:30 February 05, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks trimmed earlier gains late Wednesday morning as investors remain wary of the economic fallout of the spreading coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.37 points, or 0.53 percent, to 2,169.27 as of 11:20 a.m.

Some investors are taking solace from Chinese authorities' move to inject cash into the financial markets and provide stimulus measures to shore up the country's economy. But others continue to struggle, weighing the impact of the deadly virus on the economy, analysts said.

Last week, the People's Bank of China announced its plan to inject $21.7 billion into markets and this week the Chinese government added stimulus to support growth. It eased investor sentiment, allowing the KOSPI to end 1.8 percent higher at 2,157.90 Tuesday.

Foreigners and individuals turned net buyers to purchase a combined 542 billion won (US$457 million) worth of stocks, offsetting net selling worth 545 billion won by institutions.

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

Tech, auto, and steel stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.7 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 0.9 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 1.2 percent and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.2 percent.

Among losers, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. fell 0.7 percent and No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. declined 0.7 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,187.15 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.25 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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