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Seoul stocks open lower on fears of U.S.-China dispute

Stocks 09:21 May 22, 2020

SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened slightly lower Friday, apparently tracking overnight losses on Wall Street related to a brewing dispute between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 2.58 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,995.73 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 101.78 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 24,474.12 on Thursday (New York time).

Fears of a dispute between the world's two largest economies apparently spooked investor sentiment there after U.S. President Donald Trump again blamed China for the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was the "incompetence of China" that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands globally.

The U.S. and China are South Korea's two main trading partners.

Large caps traded mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.10 percent while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipped 1.08 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics spiked 2.96 percent, with leading chemical maker LG Chem advancing 1.06 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,235.45 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.55 won from the previous session's close.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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