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Korean shares flat in late morning trade

All News 11:25 January 18, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded nearly flat late Wednesday morning, paring earlier losses.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 1.22 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,073.09 as of 11:20 a.m.

The KOPSI started lower amid concerns about the incoming U.S. administration's policy and the impact of a widening investigation into the allegations that some conglomerates here have bribed President Park Geun-hye.

But it rebounded as foreigners and institutions shifted to net-buying, while Individuals continued to offload stocks.

"Britain declared a 'hard Brexit' but it had no big impact to the global stock market," Kim Yong-koo, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment & Securities, said. "Investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude due to the arrest issue of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and uncertainty about Trump's policy."

A Seoul court is reviewing whether to issue an arrest warrant for Lee on bribery, embezzlement, perjury charges.

Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.38 percent and global chipmaker SK hynix was off 0.81 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.65 percent, while state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 1.13 percent. Cosmetics maker AmorePacific shed 1.40 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,166.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 8.10 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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