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Korean shares tick down in late morning trade

All News 11:27 January 19, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded mildly lower late Thursday morning in a tumultuous session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 2.67 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,067.87 as of 11:20 a.m.

The KOSPI started higher, hours after a Seoul court turned down an arrest warrant sought for Lee Jae-yong, the de-facto head of Samsung Electronics, a global tech giant based in South Korea. The Samsung heir is alleged to have bribed President Park Geun-hye, facing embezzlement and perjury charges as well.

Traders were also digesting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's support for rate hikes but talk of a "gradual" approach.

Foreigners turned to net buying after the fourth consecutive session of net selling.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics gained 0.54 percent and global chipmaker SK hynix ascended 1.13 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor shed 1.95 percent, with state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. losing 1.15 percent. Top steelmaker POSCO jumped 3.17 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,176.25 won against the U.S. dollar, down 9.55 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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