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Seoul stocks open higher on easing virus woes


Seoul stocks opened higher Monday as signs of the easing spread of the new coronavirus helped ease investor concerns.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1.34 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,915.87 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

On Friday, the KOSPI ended up 3.1 percent to 1,914.53 amid hopes that the global coronavirus outbreak was peaking and will be slowing down.

This week, investors will take a cue from companies' earnings results for the January-March period in reorganizing their investment portfolios.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 184 billion won ($150 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock purchases valued at 184 billion won. 

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.6 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 1.1 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO dropped 0.3 percent.

Among gainers, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. rose 1.1 percent, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 1.7 percent, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was up 3.1 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,218.55 won against the US dollar, down 0.65 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)