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Seoul shares down 0.42 pct late Friday morning

2018/11/09 11:39

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SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower late Friday morning as investors took a breather over signals of belt tightening in the United States.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 8.78 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,083.85 as of 11:20 a.m.

The market opened higher, but earlier gains were all paired and the index turned to negative territory on a heavy sell-off by institutions.

The sluggish trading came along with the strengthening of U.S. dollars, after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday while signaling that it plans to raise the rates in December in a move to steadily tighten monetary policy at a gradual pace.

Top-cap tech shares traded mixed, while bio firms lost ground to weigh down the index.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics added 0.34 percent, but major chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.55 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion sank 4.19 percent, and Samsung BioLogics skidded 2.86 percent.

Chemicals were also in negative terrain, with LG Chem decreasing 1.49 percent and S-Oil tumbling 4.17 percent.

But auto shares traded bullish. No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor went up 1.42 percent, and its smaller rival Kia Motors surged 1.05 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,126.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 9.0 won from the previous session's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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