SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares extended gains late Thursday morning on hopes for the development of new coronavirus treatments.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 16.52 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,123.22 as of 11:20 a.m.
The local stock market took a cue from the Nasdaq Composite's record high closing Wednesday (New York time), helped by hopes on the early developments of the COVID-19 treatments.
Pharmaceutical shares soared following reports on the progress made in the early trial of the experimental vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech.
South Korea's pharmaceuticals also fared strong.
SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., the largest IPO offering of the year so far, spiked 29.59 percent on the day of its debut.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics surged 4.92 percent, with Celltrion spiking 3.87 percent.
Most other large caps were in positive terrain.
Internet giant Naver added 1.49 percent, and its rival Kakao shot up 3.34 percent.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem climbed 0.2 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO advanced 0.56 percent.
In contrast, chipmakers suffered a slight loss.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slid 0.19 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dipping 1.29 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,201.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.20 won from the previous session's close.
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