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S. Korean travel-related stocks rally on Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine results

All News 11:07 November 10, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean travel-related stocks rallied Tuesday morning on growing hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic could be subdued after global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. reported promising results for its coronavirus vaccine.

Pfizer announced Monday (U.S. time) that its vaccine candidate developed with BioNTech SE was found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, signaling progress in the global fight against the pandemic.

Local airline stocks, which have taken a beating this year from the pandemic, were buoyed by the report, with shares in the country's largest carrier, Korean Air Lines Co., soaring 12.61 percent as of 10:30 a.m. The carrier's stock price spiked as high as 23.62 percent early morning.

Korea Air Lines Co.'s planes are shown in this photo taken Oct. 5, 2020, at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Shares in Asiana Airlines Inc., the country's second-largest carrier, rose 3.6 percent, while top low-cost carrier, Jeju Air Co., jumped 11.85 percent.

Shares in travel agencies also shot up on hopes for Pfizer's vaccine, with top tour agency Hana Tour Co. rising 11.65 percent, while smaller Mode Tour climbed 10 percent.

Travel businesses have been one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as air travel has largely been severed due to concerns of virus transmissions.

South Korea currently enforces a mandatory 14-day self-isolation policy for inbound travelers.

Meanwhile, shares in local pharmaceutical firms that have raced to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus slumped on progress in Pfizer's vaccine.

SK Chemicals Co.'s shares fell 1.67 percent. The chemical company under SK Group holds a major stake in SK bioscience Co., which is developing a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

Shares in small biopharmaceutical maker Genexine Inc., which is also working toward a COVID-19 vaccine, tumbled 8.27 percent.


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