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Seoul stocks pare earlier gains late Friday morning

All News 11:32 May 15, 2020

SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks traded lower late Friday morning, after getting off to a strong start, as investors expressed concerns over the deepening tension between Washington and Beijing over the virus pandemic, which could lead to another bout of trade tensions.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged down 4.98 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,919.98, as of 11:20 a.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that the world's top economy may cut off all ties with China, as the bilateral relationship continued to sour over issues related to trade and the handling of the virus pandemic.

The rising number of new COVID-19 cases in South Korea also limited investors' appetite for risky assets.

The country, which was close to having zero daily infections, recently suffered a sharp increase in new patients as cluster cases broke out in a nightlife district of Seoul.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 0.31 percent, while SK hynix moved up 0.62 percent.

No. 1 steelmaker POSCO remained unchanged and Korea Zinc shed 0.81 percent.

Top online portal operator Naver slid 2.28 percent, and its smaller rival Kakao moved down 1.33 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,229.65 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.65 won from the previous session's close.

Dealers work in front of an electronic signboard at the headquarters of Hana Bank in Seoul on May 15, 2020. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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