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Seoul stocks open nearly flat on U.S. tapering jitters

All News 09:35 August 12, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened nearly flat Thursday amid concerns about an early tapering in the United States and the resurgence of new coronavirus cases.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.34 points, or 0.04 percent, to 3,221.96 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a choppy start as investors took a wait-and-see mode against uncertainties about whether the estimate-beating consumer prices in July would hasten the timeline for the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering plan.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.62 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, more sensitive to inflation worries, retreated 0.16 percent.

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases reached a new high of over 2,200 on Wednesday, raising concerns that the country may toughen its virus curbs.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 0.76 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.84 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver inched down 0.11 percent, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1.37 percent. Giant chemical maker LG Chem gained 1.88 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.72 percent, while Celltrion moved up 0.18 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,156.45 won to the U.S. dollar, down 0.05 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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