Seoul shares extend losses late Fri. morning trade on tech losses

Seoul shares extended losses late Friday morning, tracking tech losses on Wall Street, amid concerns over China's ban on Apple Inc.'s use by government officials.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had fallen 10.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,537.47 as of 11:20 a.m.

China plans to expand its ban on the use of iPhones in government agencies and state-owned companies. The move is expected to deal a blow to global big tech companies that heavily rely on China, analysts said.

Investors are also keeping an eye on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates further this year following the latest U.S. economic data, such as a better-than-expected services index and solid jobless claims figures, they said.

Institutions and individuals bought a combined 176 billion won (US$130 million) worth of stocks, offsetting foreign selling valued at 184 billion won.

In Seoul, tech and auto stocks were the lead decliners.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 4 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 0.7 percent, and leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution shed 0.8 percent.

Among gainers, national flag carrier Korean Air Co. rose 0.4 percent, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 3.9 percent, and leading steelmaker POSCO Holdings was up 0.5 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,332.95 won against the greenback as of 11:20 a.m., up 2.45 won from the previous day's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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