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Seoul stocks turn higher late Monday morning

All News 11:35 February 17, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned higher late Monday morning after China announced stimulus measures to reduce the economic fallout from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.25 points, or 0.23 percent, to reach 2,248.84 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index had a weak start amid lingering concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus. Earlier in the day, health authorities here confirmed the country's 30th case of the COVID-19 virus.

However, the index moved upward later following the news that China's center bank has decided to cut the interest rate on its medium-term loans to stimulate its economy.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 0.16 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix surged 1.44 percent.

The country's No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 1.12 percent, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 1.05 percent

Leading chemical firm LG Chem jumped 1.33 percent, but top steelmaker POSCO dropped 0.68 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,180.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.50 won from the previous session's close.

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