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S. Korean stocks nearly flat amid cautious mode

All Headlines 11:39 September 02, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks were almost flat late Friday morning, with a cautious sentiment palpable hours before the release of key U.S. job data.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 0.93 point, or 0.05 percent, to 2,031.79 as of 11:20 a.m.

Institutions offloaded shares, while foreigners and individuals were net-buyers.

This week, the KOSPI already declined for the two consecutive days amid uncertainty over the timing of the U.S. interest-rate hike.

Traders will closely watch the U.S. payrolls report for August to be issued at night (Seoul time) for clues to the Fed's decision in weeks or months.

"A wait-and-see sentiment is expected to keep growing ahead of the September FOMC meeting," Bae Seong-young, an equity analyst at Hyundai Securities Co., said. "The KOSPI will repeat limited gains and losses for the time being."

Samsung Electronics gained 0.25 percent. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. lost 1.04 percent. Leading automaker Hyundai Motor added 2.66 percent, and Amore Pacific, the top cosmetics maker, advanced 2.53 percent.

The South Korean won was trading at 1,118.70 won against the U.S. greenback, up 3.40 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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