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Korean shares tick down in late morning trade

All News 11:25 January 20, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares traded slightly lower late Friday morning on a cautious note a day ahead of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 5.67 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,067.12 as of 11:20 a.m.

Individuals were net-selling shares, while foreigners and institutions were scooping up stocks.

"Investors are apparently awaiting Trump's inauguration speech tonight," Kim Yong-koo, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment & Securities, said. "They are taking a wait-and-see attitude, leaving the index in no clear direction."

Large caps traded mixed. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics lost 1.01 percent and global chipmaker SK hynix dipped 0.40 percent.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.66 percent and state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 0.23 percent. Top steelmaker POSCO fell 1.08 percent.

Retail giant Lotte Group shares soared on expectations for its plans to improve the governance structure with a formal holding firm.

Lotte Shopping surged 6.00 percent and Lotte Confectionery jumped 8.17 percent, with Lotte Chilsung Beverage climbing 3.12 percent.

The South Korean currency was trading at 1,174.25 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.55 won from the previous session's close.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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