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Seoul stocks turn lower amid virus concerns

All News 11:47 December 07, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks turned lower late Monday morning on concerns that strengthened social distancing measures may affect local businesses.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 7.62 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,723.83 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The KOSPI trimmed its earlier gains after closing at an all-time high Friday, as toughened quarantine measures increased investors' desire to lock in gains.

Over the weekend, the government raised the social distancing scheme to the second-highest Level 2.5, ordering karaoke centers and indoor fitness facilities to close and limiting business hours for restaurants, cinemas and department stores.

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul, marked by chip advances and chemical losses.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.4 percent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix traded flat.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 0.11 percent, but Celltrion jumped 3.16 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem retreated 3.55 percent, with rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI losing 1.27 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,083.25 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.15 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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