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S. Korean shares flat in late morning trade

All News 11:33 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares were nearly flat late Thursday morning, with major industries traded mixed following an "earnings surprise" from Samsung Electronics and dovish minutes of the U.S. Fed's March session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 5.28 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,966.04 as of 11:20 a.m.

Samsung Electronics pared initial gains as institutional investors were apparently quick in profit-taking. It shed 1.71 percent.

Samsung announced earlier in the day that it racked up 6.6 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) during the January-March period, up 10.37 percent from a year earlier, although the figure is provisional.

Automobiles and shipbuilders were largely bullish.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's top automaker, rose 0.69 percent, and Hyundai Heavy Industries jumped 3.43 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 112.73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,716.05 on Wednesday. Health care and energy firms spearheaded the rally.

The U.S. central bank's minutes suggested that it is unlikely that the institution will raise interest rates anytime soon despite an internal debate on the specific timing.

"The trend is that the KOSPI repeats going up and down. It's being heavily affected by oil prices and foreign exchange rates amid price burdens from a small uptick since mid-February," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities Co.

The FOMC minutes again indicated that the U.S. will maintain a prudent monetary policy, he added.

South Korea's won was quoted at 1,156.05 against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., up 0.05 won from the previous session's close.


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