SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks opened flat Friday as the country extended the toughest curbs for the greater Seoul area amid the resurgence of COVID-19.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 0.1 point to 3,250.11 points in the first 15 minutes of trading.
Stocks retreated as the fourth wave of the new coronavirus weakened investor sentiment, while strong earnings provided some relief.
Earlier in the morning, the South Korean government extended the toughest virus restrictions in the greater Seoul area for another two weeks, citing the recent surge in the virus infections.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics shed 0.63 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreated 0.84 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver moved up 2.05 percent, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.09 percent.
Giant chemical maker LG Chem edged down 0.12 percent, but top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.34 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,148.95 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.95 won from the previous session's close.