Seoul (South Korea), November 26: South Korean stocks deepened their losses late Friday morning, largely as investors worry about the escalating coronavirus situation.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 26.54 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,953.73 points as of 11:20 a.m.
Losses of chemical and tech heavyweights led the KOSPI's retreat, while bio stocks advanced.
South Korea added 3,901 new COVID-19 cases Friday, two days after a record 4,115.
Bank shares rose in the wake of the central bank's rate hike the previous day.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics decreased 1.76 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 2.55 percent, and internet portal operator Naver lost 1.51 percent.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics climbed 1.06 percent, but chemical heavyweight LG Chem moved down 1.22 percent.
Banking top cap Kakao Bank advanced 1.1 percent, and payment service provider Kakao Pay soared 9.93 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,193.55 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.35 won from the previous session's close.