SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned lower late Thursday morning as concerns over the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic persisted despite drastic stimulus measures around the globe.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 8.35 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,696.41 as of 11:20 a.m.
The index opened higher following overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its first back-to-back gain since February by climbing 2.4 percent to end at 21,200.55 points on Wednesday after the White House and congressional leaders said they had agreed to a massive stimulus bill to tackle the economic slowdown from the new coronavirus pandemic.
However, the index pared earlier gains as the stimulus measures were already reflected in the market.
Most large-cap stocks lost ground.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 1.34 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dropped 0.71 percent.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung BioLogics lost 3.16 percent, while the country's top chemical firm LG Chem slid 1.95 percent.
However, auto shares were strong, with No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor advancing 1.54 percent and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis rising 0.59 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,230.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.9 won from the previous session's close.
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