Seoul shares trim earlier gains late Friday morning

SEOUL, June 26 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks trimmed earlier gains late Friday morning after a strong start, as virus fears continued across the globe.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up 11.99 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,124.36 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index got off to a strong start, tracking gains on the U.S. market, and has maintained the momentum thanks mainly to solid buying by individual investors.

In Seoul, most blue chips were mixed, with tech and telecom shares leading the gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 2.89 percent, and major chipmaker SK hynix was up 1.42 percent.

Mobile carriers traded higher, with SK Telecom jumping 3.69 percent and its smaller rival KT gaining 2.36 percent.

Top-cap bio and chem shares, meanwhile, traded lower, with pharmaceutical giant Celltrion losing 2.06 percent and Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, shedding 2.45 percent. No.1 chem firm LG Chem went down 1.8 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,198.6 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.1 won from the previous session’s close.