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Seoul stocks open sharply lower as U.S. market plunges over virus fears

Finance 09:23 June 12, 2020

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks nosedived over 4 percent at the opening bell Friday, taking a cue from overnight plunges in U.S. markets over renewed fears about the new coronavirus pandemic, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 80.33 points, or 3.69 percent, to 2,096.45 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Seoul shares closed lower to snap a nine-day winning streak Thursday, as investor sentiment was hurt by a bleak economic outlook by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Overnight, Wall Street took a beating over revived concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic may resurge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 6.9 percent, the largest fall in three months, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 5.27 percent.

Investor sentiment remained subdued as the Fed warned of a "long road" to economic recovery Wednesday over the virus outbreak and vowed to keep interest rates low.

In Seoul, most large caps started in negative terrain.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics fell 4.42 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 4.18 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor shed 5.07 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors declined 4.9 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,208.90 won to the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., sharply down 12.50 won from the previous session's close.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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