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Seoul stocks open lower on escalating U.S.-China tension

All News 09:25 May 13, 2020

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened lower Wednesday tracking overnight losses on Wall Street after U.S. President Donald Trump continued to excoriate Beijing amid their prolonged trade row.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 15.74 points, or 0.82 percent, to 1,906.43 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.89 percent overnight, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 2.06 percent on renewed concerns over the Sino-American trade tension.

Trump ruled out possibilities that Washington and Beijing will renegotiate their phase-one trade deal reached earlier, while expressing discontent over China's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investors were also concerned that a hasty reopening of business activities around the globe may lead to a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. Major economies, including South Korea, have already eased all-out social distancing.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics slid 1.15 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix decreased 2.8 percent.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.98 percent, and its sister Kia Motors shed 2.02 percent. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved down 1.47 percent.

Pharmaceutical shares, on the other hand, traded higher, with Samsung BioLogics increasing 2.7 percent and Celltrion advancing 0.95 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,228.25 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.45 won from the previous session's close.

colin@yna.co.kr
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