The benchmark figures for the Composite Korean Stock Price Index (Kospi) were displayed on Thursday in the trading room of a local bank in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Korea’s benchmark stock price index (KOSPI) fell 9.42 points, or 0.32%, to 2,890.3 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Stocks got off to a weak start, led by massive foreign and institutional sellers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.34% and the high-tech Nasdaq composite was down 1.83% as the first case of the omicron variant in the United States worsened investor sentiment in global financial markets .
Most of the large caps traded lower in Seoul, with the exception of chipmakers.
Market leader Samsung Electronics gained 0.81% and No.2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 2.58%.
Among the losers, pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics lost 1.8%, with internet portal operator Naver falling 0.9%. Major automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.5%.
On secondary KOSDAQ, stocks linked to vaccine kits showed strong performance a day after South Korea confirmed its first cases of infection with the omicron variant.
Seegene, a global supplier of COVID-19 test kits, had jumped 3.88% by 9:33 a.m. LabGenomics, a healthcare company specializing in molecular diagnostic kits, was up 3.65%.
The local currency was trading at 1,177.65 won against the US dollar, up 1.55 won from the close of the previous session. (Yonhap)