Seoul stocks turn lower late Mon. morning on bio, chemical losses

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares trimmed gains late Monday morning, as bio and chemical heavyweights slumped.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.02 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,414.42 as of 11:20 a.m.

The KOSPI got off to a strong start but turned lower on a slump in bio and chemicals stocks.

Large caps traded mixed in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.84 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advancing 1.31 percent.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem sank 5.56 percent, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 1.1 percent.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics fell 1.32 percent, and Celltrion dipped 2.92 percent.

Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.17 percent, while its rival Kakao lost 1.07 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, jumped 3.31 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gaining 2.51 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,262.35 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.05 won from the previous session’s close.