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Seoul stocks open lower on virus concerns, profit-taking

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Tuesday, tracking overnight Wall Street losses over jitters from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 2.28 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,942.17 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Stocks got off to a muted start, with the global coronavirus infections exceeding 85 million and the new COVID-19 variant spreading concerns in major economies.

Investors' desire for profits also increased after a five-session record-breaking rally.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 0.36 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.79 percent.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved down 0.56 percent, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI shed 0.75 percent.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 0.72 percent, while Celltrion rose 0.86 percent.

Internet portal Naver dipped 1.37 percent, with its rival Kakao sliding down 1.14 percent.

Among gainers, top automaker Hyundai Motor increased 1.93 percent, and its auto part making affiliate Hyundai Mobis advanced 1.92 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,085.85 won against the US dollar, down 3.75 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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