SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded 0.25 percent lower late Friday morning as investors awaited a closely watched U.S. jobs report to figure out the timing of an interest rate hike.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 5.25 points to 2,060.05 as of 11:20 a.m.
Investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. nonfarm payroll report later in the day to get clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates before the end of this year.
Most market heavyweights traded weak, while Samsung affiliates were bullish after U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management urged Samsung Electronics to streamline its corporate structure and increase returns to shareholders.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 0.53 percent after posting upbeat third-quarter earnings guidance thanks to its memory chip and display businesses despite a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
Samsung C&T, a construction arm that serves as the group's de-facto holding firm, surged 0.61 percent on hopes that the U.S. activist fund's demand could raise shareholder value of South Korea's largest conglomerate.
Cosmetic shares were down, with No. 1 AmorePacific declining 3.41 percent and its smaller rival LG Household & Healthcare dropping 4.14 percent.
The local currency was changing hands at 1,115.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.2 won from the previous session's close.
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