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S. Korean shares turn lower in late morning trading

All Headlines 11:37 January 10, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares turned lower late Thursday morning as institutions turned net sellers on profit-taking amid fears over a prolonged U.S. government shutdown weighing on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Prices Index fell 0.71 point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,064.00 as of 11:20 a.m.

Institutional investors sold a net 172.81 billion won (US$154 million) worth of stocks, offsetting 175.92 billion won worth of stock purchases by foreigners and individuals.

U.S. President Donald Trump has partially shut down the government and threatened to declare a national emergency as he pushes Congress for money to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to block a massive inflow of illegal immigrants.

Tech shares underpinned the broad index, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 0.63 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbing 2.83 percent and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. gaining 0.83 percent.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 2.03 percent, leading steelmaker POSCO declined 1.17 percent and No. 1 wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. was down 0.37 percent.

The Korean won traded at 1,120.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.60 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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