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Seoul stocks open lower on dismal data from major economies

All News 09:21 May 07, 2020

SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks opened lower Thursday following dismal economic data from major economies amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 6.74 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,922.02 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday (local time). The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.91 percent to close at 23,664.64, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.51 percent to finish at 8,854.39.

Investors apparently focused on employment data from the United States. U.S. private sector companies had cut a record 20.2 million jobs last month.

Adding more woes, the European Commission said the region's economy is expected to contract by 7.4 percent this year, its worst fall since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks got off to a weak start.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.71 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.36 percent.

South Korea's No. 1 automaker, Hyundai Motor, slid 0.86 percent, while auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis plunged 1.45 percent.

Top chemical firm LG Chem dipped 1.11 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO dived 0.83 percent.

However, the country's top web portal operator Naver advanced 2.59 percent, while Kakao, which runs the nation's leading mobile messenger app KakaoTalk, jumped 2.76 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,227.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.70 won from the previous session's close.

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