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Seoul stocks turn higher late morning on tech, bio gains

All News 11:54 December 04, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks jumped more than 1.5 percent late Friday morning due to strong advances by tech and bio heavyweights, after the benchmark index closed at an all-time high the previous session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 40.97 points, or 1.52 percent, to 2,737.19 as of 11:20 a.m.

After touching the 2,700 milestone the previous day, the KOSPI continued its bullish run on account of tech, financial and steel gains. Analysts attributed the rally to investors' expectations that early COVID-19 vaccine development may quicken the export-intensive economy.

Giant drugmakers also spiked because of surging new COVID-19 cases, with daily new cases in South Korea reaching a nine-month high and U.S. hospitalizations from the illness hitting an all-time high overnight.

Exports of test kits achieved a record high of $546 million in November, up from $412 million the previous month, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and the Korea Customs Service.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.29 percent to 29,969.52 points overnight, but the S&P 500 slipped 0.06 percent due to pandemic concerns. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.23 percent

Most large caps traded higher in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 3.01 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix surged 4.93 percent. Both firms closed at all-time highs the previous session on a rosy earnings forecast for next year.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics rose 1.74 percent, and Celltrion sky-rocketed 8.97 percent on growing global demand for test kits.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, advanced 0.76 percent. Leading steelmakers POSCO went up 5.37 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 0.59 percent, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 0.54 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver increased 2.61 percent, and its rival Kakao advanced 4.41 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,088.45 won against the U.S. dollar, up 8.55 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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