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Seoul stocks open marginally higher on U.S. gains

All News 09:28 March 11, 2020

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened higher Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors hailed the U.S. planned stimulus measures to counter economic fallout from the coronavirus impact following recent market turmoil.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price (KOSPI) Index rose 2.48 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,965.41 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Tuesday, the main index recouped most of its hefty losses from a session earlier as investors were relieved by a slowdown in new infections here and U.S. stimulus plans.

The KOSPI ended 0.4 percent higher at 1,962.93 Tuesday after falling below the psychologically important 2,000-point level due to growing COVID-19 concerns and a crash in oil prices.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 209 billion won worth of stocks, exceeding individuals' stock purchases valued at 197 billion won.

Foreigners continued to sell local stocks amid risk-off sentiment weighing on the index. They sold more than 3 trillion won (US$2.5 billion) worth of stocks in the past four sessions.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1 percent, leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. shed 0.2 percent, and the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. was down 2.5 percent.

Among gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.5 percent, leading refiner SK Innovation Co. climbed 0.5 percent, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was up 1.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,186.65 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.55 won from the previous session's close.

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