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S. Korean shares down in late morning trade

All News 11:30 October 12, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded slightly lower late Wednesday morning as market kingpin Samsung Electronics continued to suffer a sharp drop caused by its earlier decision to halt global sales of its latest smartphone.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,031.03 as of 11:20 a.m.

The index opened on a weaker note, but nearly recovered earlier losses as institutional investors turned to buying.

Institutions were net buyers, scooping up 384.2 billion won (US$342 million), while both foreigners and retail investors offloaded more local shares than they purchased.

Top cap Samsung Electronics plunged 2.14 percent, extending its losing streak to a third consecutive session after reaching a record high of 1,706,000 won on Friday.

On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics shares tumbled 8.04 percent, the steepest drop in nearly eight years, after the company said it will halt global sales of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to battery-related problems.

Most other large caps were in positive terrain.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor spiked 1.86 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors adding 1.31 percent.

Global steelmaker POSCO advanced 0.43 percent, while local industry leader LG Chemical gained 1.06 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,123.35 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.95 won from the previous session's close.


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