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Seoul stocks extend gains on rebounding oil prices, easing virus woes

All News 11:20 April 23, 2020

SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Thursday morning as rebounding oil prices and easing worries over the coronavirus outbreak boosted investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.21 points, or 0.75 percent, to 1,910.36 as of 11:15 a.m. The main index ended up 0.9 percent at 1,896.15 on Wednesday after shedding 1.8 percent in the previous two sessions.

But investors will remain cautious, assessing the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the global economy and corporate profitability, analysts said.

South Korea's economy contracted 1.4 percent in the first quarter from a quarter earlier, the worst since 2008, according to the central bank.

In coming weeks, investors will take a cue from major companies' first-quarter business results.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.3 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. climbed 0.9 percent, leading steelmaker POSCO gained 1.5 percent, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was up 3.1 percent.

Among decliners, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 0.8 percent, and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. declined 0.6 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,230.35 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.85 won from the previous session's close.

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