SEOUL-- Seoul shares extended gains late Friday morning as investors await the release of July job data in the U.S., which could hint at upcoming monetary tightening in the world's largest economy.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 19.42 points, or 0.79 percent, to trade at 2,492.53 as of 11:20 a.m.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mostly unchanged ahead of July's job report, set to be released Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined around 0.3 percent, the S&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;P 500 slipped 0.1 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.4 percent.
Investor sentiment has been weighed down by concerns over a recession, as major economies are tightening their monetary policies to bring red-hot inflation under control.
In Seoul, most stocks traded mixed, with health stocks showing strong performance as the U.S. government declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.
Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, increased 2.17 percent, and pharmaceutical giant Celltrion spiked 4.23 percent.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics remained unchanged, and SK hynix gained 0.51 percent. Leading chemicals maker LG Chem went up 4.43 percent.
Internet giant Naver fell 1.65 percent, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.27 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,298.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 11.90 won from the previous session's close.
Source: Yonhap News Agency