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Seoul: Shares and won pause after 3-day climb
[SEOUL] Seoul shares reversed early gains and ticked lower, set to end a three-day gaining streak on Thursday morning as investors took profits after the main board touched a near two-month intraday high.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was quoted at 2,005.09 points, barely changed from the previous close at 2,005.84 points as of 0239 GMT. Early in the session, it rose as much as 0.7 per cent to 2,019.19, the highest intraday level since Aug 11. Losers outnumbered gainers by 14 to 10. "Recently the stocks rose from relief based on expectations the Fed may put off the first rates hike (in almost a decade), but as the index rose above 2,000 level, investors took profit,"said Kim Young-jun, an analyst at SK Securities.
Meanwhile, automakers bolstered the main board on expectations that a weak won could improve their earnings for the July-September period after market heavyweight Samsung Electronics released a better-than-expected earnings guidance on Wednesday morning.
Market bellwether Hyundai Motor Co Ltd rose 0.6 per cent and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp gained 1 percent. Logistics firm Hyundai Glovis Co Ltd shares up 3.5 per cent.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd edged up 0.8 per cent after Wednesday's gain of 8.7 per cent, its biggest percentage rise since Jan 28, 2009.
Foreigners were set to be net buyers for a third consecutive session, purchasing a net 100.2 billion won (S$121.9 million) of KOSPI shares by midday.
On the currency market, the South Korean won took a breather and stood nearly flat against the dollar after rising for a third straight session on Wednesday.
The won stood at 1,161.0 per dollar, almost unchanged from the previous close of 1,161.3. During the last three sessions, it gained 1.7 per cent.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds were down 0.02 points at 109.74.
South Korean markets will be closed on Friday for a public holiday.