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S. Korean stocks edge down in late morning trade

All Headlines 11:29 August 31, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ticked down late Wednesday morning amid uncertainty over the U.S. monetary policy.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 5.45 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,034.29 as of 11:20 a.m.

Foreigners were offloading stocks, while institutional investors and individuals were net-buyers of shares.

Analysts cited traders' prudent stance and a lack of momentum to push up the KOSPI.

"The U.S. rate-hike issue persists. Chances are high that the market will waver in accordance with economic data to be released before the September meeting of the FOMC," Lee Joon-hee, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., said. "Investors' wait-and-see attitude is likely to continue for the time being."

Large caps were mixed, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics losing 0.91 percent.

The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. added 0.69 percent and leading automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.38 percent.

The stock trade of Hanjin Shipping, the nation's leading but troubled shipper, was suspended as it decided to file for court protection a day after its creditors decided not to offer additional financial support.

Korean Air Lines, the troubled shipper's largest shareholder, jumped 2.5 percent apparently on eased financial burden for its affiliate.

The South Korean won was trading at 1,117.30 won against the U.S. greenback, up 2.60 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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