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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 September 08, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.

New virus cases below 200 for 6th day; cluster infections still drag on virus fight

SEOUL-- South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 200 for the sixth consecutive day Tuesday, but sporadic cluster infections across the nation continued to put health authorities on edge.

The country added 136 more COVID-19 cases, including 120 local infections, raising the total caseload to 21,432, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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S. Korea weighs measures to counter virus fallout

SEOUL -- The government is mapping out a package of measures to help cushion the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak and galvanize the economy, officials said Tuesday.

The emergency measures, which include an additional supplementary budget worth at least 7 trillion won (US$5.9 billion), are scheduled to be unveiled as early as this week.

"A comprehensive package of emergency measures, including the extra budget, are on the table as part of efforts to give a boost to economic vitality," a ranking government official said.

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S. Korea's economy tipped to retreat more than expected over pandemic: KDI

SEJONG -- South Korea's economic recession is expected to be deeper than expected this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the pace of recovery may be delayed as there is no end in sight for the pandemic, a state-run think tank predicted Tuesday.

Korea Development Institute (KDI) downgraded the nation's economic growth outlook to a contraction of 1.1 percent this year, a sharp downward revision of a 0.2 percent expansion in its May forecast.

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Outlook rosy for Samsung Electronics' Q3 earnings

SEOUL-- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to see its third-quarter operating profit top 10 trillion won (US$8.42 billion) on a recovery in sales of smartphones, TVs and other home appliances, analysts said Tuesday.

If the market forecast becomes a reality, it would mark the first time in two years for Samsung Electronics' operating profit to surpass the 10 trillion-won mark.

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Number of self-employed tumbles amid coronavirus

SEOUL -- The number of self-employed people in South Korea has fallen at a far faster pace in 2020 than last year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, data showed Tuesday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy had 5.548 million self-employed people as of the end of July, down 127,000 from the same month a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Small Business Institute and Statistics Korea.

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Home prices in greater Seoul area show signs of stabilizing: finance minister

SEOUL -- Home prices in Seoul and its neighboring area have shown signs of stabilizing due to the government's measures to cool prices and supply more homes, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Tuesday.

"Market sentiment in the greater Seoul area, which had showed signs of overheating, appeared to have become calm in August," Hong said.

Last month apartment prices in Seoul largely remained flat, Hong said, citing industry data.

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Seoul stocks extend gains late Tue. morning ahead of ECB meeting

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended gains late Tuesday morning as investors pin hopes on the possibility that the European Central Bank (ECB) may signal further easing moves in its upcoming monetary policy meeting.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 18.95 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,403.17 as of 11:20 a.m.

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Trainee doctors resume work, yet service normalization to take some time

SEOUL -- Hundreds of trainee doctors resumed their work Tuesday, ending their 18-day strike over a controversial medical reform plan, but it is expected to take some time before medical service normalizes completely.

Interns and residents at major general hospitals in Seoul, such as Seoul Asan Medical Center and Seoul Samsung Medical Center, returned to hospitals as of 7 a.m., and other young doctors are also set to return later in the day.

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S. Korean shipyards retain top spot in new orders in August

SEOUL -- South Korean shipbuilders took the No. 1 ranking in new shipping orders in August for the second consecutive month on the back of orders for liquefied natural gas carriers, industry data showed Tuesday.

According to the data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service, the Korean shipbuilders' new orders amounted to 630,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs), or 23 ships, in August, which took up 73 percent of the global new orders totaling 860,000 CGTs, or 36 ships, last month.
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