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Seoul stocks turn higher late Thursday morning

All News 11:26 April 02, 2020

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned higher paring earlier losses late Thursday morning despite growing concerns over the fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 13.15 points, or 0.78 percent, to 1,698.61 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index opened slightly lower, losing 4.18 points, or 0.25 percent, in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The weak start followed another market crash in the United States on fears of the new coronavirus bringing the U.S. economy to a halt.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 973.65 points, or 4.44 percent, to close at 20,943.51 on Wednesday (New York time).

Such a drop came one day after U.S. President Donald Trump said the next couple of weeks may be "very, very painful."

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 200,000 people in the U.S. alone. South Korea's tally stood shy of 10,000 as of Thursday.

In Seoul, large caps traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics surged 1.2 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 0.51 percent.

Leading chemical company LG Chem plunged 1.54 percent, while top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.82 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,239.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.6 won from the previous session's close.


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