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Seoul stocks extend gains late Monday morning

All News 11:28 April 20, 2020

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Monday morning, helped by retail buying amid signs of the global coronavirus spread easing.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,920.05 as of 11:20 a.m.

Investor concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be easing after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday (local time) the state may be past the high point of coronavirus deaths, analysts said.

South Korea reported 13 more cases of the new coronavirus Monday, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,674. It marked the third day in a row that the country's new virus infections stayed below 20.

"Investors now await first-quarter corporate earnings results, and they will assess the government's stimulus packages to support the economy amid virus woes," said June Choi, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

Individuals bought 438 billion won (US$359 million) worth of stocks, offsetting institutions and foreigners' stock selling valued at 446 billion won.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.4 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.6 percent, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 1 percent.

Among gainers, leading steelmaker POSCO rose 0.6 percent, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 2.7 percent, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was up 1.4 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,218.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.90 won from the previous session's close.

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