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Seoul stocks down late Thursday morning

All News 11:28 May 07, 2020

SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks traded lower late Thursday morning as investor sentiment was dented by dismal economic data from major economies and renewed tensions between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 5.79 points, or 0.30 percent, to 1,922.97 as of 11:20 a.m.

Investor sentiment was apparently hit by U.S. employment data. U.S. private sector companies 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.

Analyst said that renewed tensions between the world's two largest economies are also weighing down the market. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out against China for its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.71 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.36 percent.

South Korea's No. 1 automaker, Hyundai Motor, slid 1.29 percent, while auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis plunged 1.45 percent.

Top chemical firm LG Chem dipped 1.11 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO declined 0.28 percent.

However, the country's top web portal operator Naver advanced 0.47 percent, while Kakao, which runs the nation's leading mobile messenger app KakaoTalk, jumped 1.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,226.50 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.4 won from the previous session's close.

This photo, taken on May 7, 2020, shows a dealing room at Hana Bank in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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