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S. Korean stocks slightly lower on foreign selling

All Headlines 11:30 September 01, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks edged down late Thursday morning, as both foreigners and institutions offloaded shares a day before the release of key U.S. job data.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 9.14 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,025.51 as of 11:20 a.m.

Individuals were scooping up stocks, while foreigners and institutional traders were net sellers.

The market is awaiting the U.S. employment data for August to be issued on Friday for a further hint of how soon the Federal Reserve will raise the key interest rate.

"It can be a key point in predicting if a rate hike is possible in September," Kim Jing-young, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., said. "In the short term, however, the KOSPI may continue to proceed with no clear direction."

Yoo Seung-min, an analyst at Samsung Securities Co., also said the KOSPI will likely stay in a tight range throughout this month.

"The KOSPI is expected to waver between 1,980 points and 2,080 points in September," he said. "Improved corporate earnings are positive but more time is needed for the KOSPI to rise above the range, which requires the recovery of fundamentals."

Many large caps were in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 2.90 percent and global chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.27 percent. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 0.52 percent and leading automaker Hyundai Motor shed 0.38 percent.

The South Korean won was trading at 1,114.30 won against the U.S. greenback, down 2.50 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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