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Seoul shares trim earlier losses in late morning trading

All Headlines 11:37 July 11, 2018

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks trimmed earlier losses late Wednesday morning, but foreigners and institutions remained net sellers of local stocks amid an escalating trade war between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index backtracked 16.38 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,277.78 as of 11:15 a.m.

Institutional investors sold a net 182 billion won (US$162 million) worth of stocks, and foreigners offloaded a net 22 billion won worth of stocks, weighing on the main index.

The main index did not track overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.58 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 0.04 percent.

Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at IBK Securities Co., said Washington's move to slap tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products worsened investor sentiment.

"The risk of a trade war between the United States and China weighed on investment sentiment," said Jeong Dai, an analyst at Meritz Securities Co.

The decline came a day before the South Korean central bank will decide whether to hold the country's key rate at the current 1.5 percent.

Large-cap stocks saw mixed trading across the board.

Samsung Biologics, the health care unit of Samsung Group, rose 0.60 percent, and South Korea's No. 1 online portal operator Naver went up 0.66 percent.

Among decliners, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. lost 0.97 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 0.11 percent and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 1.21 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,119.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.60 won from the previous session's close.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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