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Seoul stocks snap 7-day winning streak on virus woes

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 ended their seven-session winning streak on Friday as investor sentiment was hurt by concerns that the latest spike in COVID-19 cases could sap an economic recovery. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 19.34 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 3,010.23 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 444 million shares worth some 8.1 trillion won ($6.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 418 to 414.

Foreigners sold a net 282 billion won, while institutions bought 132 billion won and retail investors purchased 120 billion won.

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.

"Investors appear to be waiting to see what policy the government will take to contain the virus," HI Investment & Securities analyst Park Sang-hyun said.

Investors will likely pay attention to the upcoming data on US consumer inflation for November to gauge the timing of the Federal Reserve's rate hike.

Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.66 percent to 76,900 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 2.43 percent to 120,500 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics decreased 1.64 percent to 901,000 won, and internet portal operator Naver lost 1.13 percent to 395,000 won.

Among gainers, leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 0.24 percent to 207,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,181.3 won against the US dollar, down 6.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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