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Korean stocks open sharply lower on virus woes

All News 09:24 March 30, 2020

SEOUL, March 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares opened sharply lower Monday on fears of the new coronavirus outbreak further slowing economic activities throughout the globe.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 41.17 points, or 2.40 percent, to 1,676.56 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The decline follows a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections in the United States over the weekend, forcing Washington to extend its guideline for a voluntary shutdown for a month.

Already, the global economy is expected to suffer a huge setback due to reduced economic activities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged over 4 percent to close at 21,636.78 points on Friday.

In Seoul, most large caps were in negative terrain.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics plunged 2.38 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix tumbling 2.64 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor lost 3.01 percent, while leading pharmaceutical firm Celltrion added 0.54 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,215.95 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.35 won from the previous session's close.


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