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Seoul stocks trim earlier losses on retail buying

All News 11:29 April 24, 2020

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks trimmed earlier losses late Friday morning on retail buying amid rebounding oil prices and easing worries over the coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 13.29 points, or 0.69 percent, to 1,901.44 as of 11:15 a.m.

The main index got off to a weak start on reports that Gilead Sciences Inc.'s antiviral drug remdesivir performed poorly in its first clinical trial.

Analysts said the KOSPI will trade in a tight range throughout the session as investors continue to assess the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the global economy and corporate earnings results for the January-March quarter.

Individuals bought 314 billion won (US$254 million) worth of stocks, offsetting institutions and foreigners' stock selling valued at 316 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks retreated.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 1.6 percent and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. was down 1.1 percent.

Among gainers, national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. rose 1.3 percent and its parent Hanjin KAL Corp. jumped 4.8 percent as the government is expected to announce a financial support package for the country's biggest airline on Friday.

The local currency was trading at 1,236.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.70 won from the previous session's close.

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