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S. Korean stocks open higher, bucking Wall Street losses

All News 09:27 May 20, 2020

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened slightly higher Wednesday despite heavy overnight losses on Wall Street sparked by renewed fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 3.09 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,983.70 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 390.51 points, or 1.59 percent, to close at 24,206.86 Tuesday (U.S. time).

The sharp decline came one day after global stock markets rallied on reports of positive results from an initial test of a candidate COVID-19 vaccine.

Investor sentiment soured, however, after experts suggested the test results provided by U.S. bio firm Moderna may have been insufficient to prove the effectiveness of the candidate vaccine.

Large caps were mixed, with market kingpin Samsung Electronics shedding 0.40 percent.

Top portal operator NAVER spiked 1.87 percent, while leading pharmaceutical firm Celltrion added 0.94 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.21 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors plunged 1.74 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,224.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session's close.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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