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Seoul stocks open lower on tightened virus curbs

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened lower Friday as health authorities strengthened virus curbs amid spiking cases and the potential spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) had fallen 15.16 points, or 0.51 percent, to trade at 2,930.11 points as of 9:15 a.m.

Stocks got off to a lackluster start, as the government has decided to limit private gatherings to six people in the capital area and eight in other regions for four weeks, starting next week.

Restaurants and cafes will be added to the list of facilities that require COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for the virus.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics retreated 1.85 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 2.08 percent.

Internet portal operator Naver declined 0.63 percent, and giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics decreased 0.9 percent.

Among gainers, top automaker Hyundai Motor increased 0.24 percent, and bank top cap Kakao Bank advanced 1.23 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,178.2 won against the US dollar, down 2.3 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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