SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded nearly flat late Wednesday morning amid weak economic data at home and in the United States.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1.75 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3,150.58 points as of 11:20 a.m.
The KOSPI opened higher as bargain hunters sought oversold stocks on expectations of a future price hike. But the trading turned choppy in the late morning on increased institutional selling from weak economic gauges.
South Korea's job growth slowed for the fourth straight month in August, largely due to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases and the toughest-ever virus curbs.
During the same month, the U.S. consumer prices also showed the smallest gain in seven months, fanning concerns of slowing economic recovery.
In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics added 0.26 percent, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.93 percent.
Internet portal operator Naver increased 0.37 percent, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 2.08 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.72 percent, but leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 2.86 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,172.45 won to the U.S. dollar, down 1.65 won from the previous session's close.
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