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Seoul stocks open lower on spiking COVID-19 cases

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks opened steeply lower Friday, as the country's spiking new coronavirus cases fanned concerns about tougher virus curbs.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 21.59 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,007.98 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Investor sentiment worsened as South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed above 7,000 for the third consecutive day Friday amid the waning immunity and colder weather.

Most large caps traded lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.02 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.02 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics traded flat, and internet portal operator Naver lost 1.13 percent. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor traded unchanged from the previous session.

The local currency was trading at 1,177.7 won against the US dollar, down 3.2 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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