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Seoul stocks trade lower late Thursday morning

All News 11:36 February 20, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned lower late Thursday morning due to rising concerns of the fast spreading novel coronavirus in the country.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had fallen 14.62 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,195.72 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index opened higher, tracking overnight Wall Street gains boosted by the possibility of Chinese stimulus measures, but pared back earlier gains after South Korean health authorities reported 31 additional COVID-19 infections, the biggest daily jump in confirmed cases here, bringing the total to 82.

Most large caps were in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slid 0.50 percent, while No.2 chipmaker SK hynix was flat.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 1.52 percent, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis plunged 2.12 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics shed 1.29 percent, but the country's No. 1 chemical firm, LG Chem, advanced 0.87 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,196.90 won against the U.S. dollar, sharply down 7.60 won from the previous session's close.
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