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Seoul stocks almost flat late Thur. morning amid U.S. tapering concerns

All News 11:28 August 12, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded nearly flat late Thursday morning 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) rose 2.2 points, or 0.07 percent, to 3,222.82 points as of 11:20 a.m.

Stocks got off to a choppy start as investors took a wait-and-see mode against uncertainties over 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 stayed around 2,000 for the second day in a row after reaching a new high of over 2,200 on Wednesday.

Chipmakers extended their slump to a second day on concerns over a drop in chip prices.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 1.27 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slumped 4.27 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver retreated 0.79 percent, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1.6 percent. Giant chemical maker LG Chem gained 2.59 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics advanced 0.82 percent, with Celltrion moving up 0.35 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,159.1 won to the U.S. dollar, down 2.7 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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