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Seoul stocks open lower on U.S. losses

All News 09:27 April 22, 2020

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened lower Wednesday, tracking losses on Wall Street, as plunging oil prices further weigh down investor sentiment amid deepening woes over the new coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 25.25 points, or 1.34 percent, to 1,854.13 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The main index fell 1.8 percent in the past two sessions due to the COVID-19 impact on the economy and collapsing crude prices.

Lower oil prices have emerged as a major downside factor for the already fragile market hit by the coronavirus outbreak, analysts said.

They expected poor corporate earnings results set to start being released later this week will add to woes.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 73 billion won (US$59 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock buying valued at 68 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks retreated.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.3 percent, South Korea's second-largest chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.2 percent, No. 1 refiner SK Innovation Co. shed 2.6 percent, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. plunged 3.3 percent.

Among gainers, Asiana Airlines Inc. jumped 14 percent on news its creditors will inject 1.7 trillion won into the loss-making carrier to help it stay afloat amid the growing impact of coronavirus on the airline sector.

The local currency was trading at 1,233.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.90 won from the previous session's close.

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