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Seoul stocks open lower on Fed's gloomy forecast

All News 09:37 June 11, 2020

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened lower Thursday, following the Federal Reserve's dismal U.S. economic forecast and the absence of stronger stimulus tools earlier anticipated amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 13.42 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,182.27 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The drop came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell predicted that the economic damages of COVID-19 may have lasting effects despite the Fed's plan to keep the current near-zero interest rate for an extended period of time.

Powell said the Fed will keep the rate of bond purchases, disappointing investors who had pinned hopes for stronger emergency asset-purchasing programs, such as yield-curve control.

In Seoul, most large caps traded in negative terrain, while pharmaceutical heavyweights advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.44 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix falling 1.43 percent.

Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics added 2.41 percent, with Celltrion jumping 3.72 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 2.69 percent, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors tumbled 1.80 percent. Giant steelmaker POSCO dropped 1.77 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,192.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.80 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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