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

All News 16:10 November 10, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with closing stock price; ADDS more details throughout)

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

Shares in South Korea's largest carrier, Korean Air Lines Co., soared 11.24 percent to 24,250 won (US$22), outperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.23 percent gain. The carrier's stock price spiked as high as 23.62 percent during the session.

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

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

Shares in the country's second-largest carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. rose 0.86 percent to 3,505 won, while the country's top low-cost carrier, Jeju Air Co., jumped 11.11 percent to 15,000 won. Rival budget carrier T'way Air Co. climbed 10 percent to 2,640 won.

Shares in travel agencies also shot up on hopes for Pfizer's vaccine, with top tour agency Hana Tour Co. rising 9.17 percent to 44,050 won, while smaller Mode Tour added 6.9 percent to 15,500 won.

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 closed mixed on progress in Pfizer's vaccine.

SK Chemicals Co.'s shares rose 1.45 percent to 456,000 won. 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 10.51 percent to close at 111,500 won.


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