SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded higher late Friday morning, largely as optimism for strong earnings offset concerns over the extended virus curbs in greater Seoul.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 4.82 point, or 0.15 percent, to 3,255.03 points as of 11:20 a.m.
The fourth wave of the new coronavirus weakened investor sentiment, while strong earnings provided some relief.
Earlier in the morning, the government extended the toughest virus restrictions in the greater Seoul area for another two weeks, citing the recent surge in virus infections.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 0.25 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.26 percent.
Internet portal giant Naver moved up 2.39 percent, while leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.53 percent.
Giant chemical maker LG Chem edged down 0.12 percent, but top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.57 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,149.65 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.25 won from the previous session's close.