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Seoul stocks trim losses from virus woes

All News 11:32 November 29, 2021

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks erased part of their earlier losses late Monday morning, with investors wondering how the omicron variant of the coronavirus will affect the global economic reopening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 11.53 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,924.91.54 points as of 11:20 a.m.

The KOSPI dipped below the 2,900-point level in the early morning, driven by investors' worries that the new COVID-19 variant's global outbreak may toughen the quarantine measures and hamper the economic recovery at home and overseas.

The key stock index pared some of its losses in the late morning on foreign and institutional buying.

South Korea reported 3,309 new COVID-19 cases Monday, none of which have been confirmed as an infection from the omicron variant.

Most sectors traded lower, while tech heavyweights rebounded and vaccine-related bio and medical equipment stocks performed well.

The KOSPI started off weak amid losses of chemical and tech heavyweights.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics increased 0.55 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 2.16 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 2.07 percent, with Celltrion moving up 0.7 percent.

Among losers, leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.22 percent, and steelmaker POSCO decreased 2.39 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,193.95 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.65 won from the previous session's close.


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