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Seoul stocks extend gains on upbeat data; virus fears continue

All News 11:31 February 06, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks extended gains late Thursday morning as China's stimulus plans to support growth and efforts to stop the virus spreading and upbeat data from the United States helped lift investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 39.63 points, or 1.83 percent, to 2,205.26 as of 11:20 a.m., also helped by positive U.S. economic data.

U.S. companies added more jobs than expected in January and China's cash injection and stimulus measures to shore up its economy helped ease risk-off sentiment. Reports on possible vaccines for the virus also boosted investor sentiment, analysts said.

Foreigners and institutions bought a combined 229 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting net selling of 243 billion won by individuals.

Since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed at least 563 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Thursday and reached 24 countries, including the U.S.

South Korea has reported 23 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday.

Most of large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.8 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 1.3 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 5.2 percent and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.6 percent.

Among losers, cosmetics giant AmorePacific Corp. fell 0.3 percent and leading game contents company NHN Corp. declined 1.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,182.65 won against the U.S. dollar, up 8.85 won from the previous session's close.

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