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S. Korean stocks down 0.5 pct in late morning trade

All Headlines 11:24 August 29, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks were slightly lower late Monday morning, as institutional investors offloaded shares amid indications that the U.S. may soon raise its key interest rate.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 10.32 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,027.18 as of 11:20 a.m. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen openly said last week that "The case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months."

Analysts here construed it as a sign of a possible rate increase next month.

"The chances of a U.S. rate hike has grown. But its impact to South Korea's stock market will be limited," Han Dae-hoon, an analyst at SK Securities Co., said. Usually, the KOSPI recorded 2-3 percent drop, affected by such a U.S. rate issue, he pointed out.

Market watchers will also closely monitor U.S. job data to be released on Thursday and the results of the G20 Leaders' Summit scheduled to open in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on the weekend.

At the Seoul bourse, institutional investors net-sold stocks, while foreigners and individuals were net-buyers.

Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.81 percent, while leading automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.48 percent. Naver, the nation's dominant Internet portal, lost 0.37 percent.

The South Korean won was trading at 1,123.70 won against the U.S. greenback, down 10.00 won from the previous session's close.


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