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Seoul: Stocks shaky on profit-taking, won steady


[SEOUL] South Korean shares wobbled between positive and negative territory on Friday as investors took profits from the market's recent gains ahead of key US jobs data later in the day.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.2 per cent at 1,981.89 points as of 0219 GMT.

But trading volume was low as investors waited to see if the US nonfarm payrolls report would give more clues on whether the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates at its policy meeting on June 14-15.

In recent weeks, Fed officials have put a possible rate rise in June or July firmly on the table if economic data continues to improve, though many traders believe it will wait until after Britain's vote on June 23 on whether to remain within the European Union.

South Korean exports to the US rose in May, albeit marginally, after two months of decline, so investors are nervous about whether the American economy is strong enough to cope with higher borrowing costs.

Foreign investors were poised to be sellers, offloading a net 44.4 billion Korean won (S$51.49 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

IT company Samsung SDS Co Ltd shares fell 7.2 per cent after it said it was considering spinning off its logistics process outsourcing and IT systems services business.

Screenmaker LG Display Co Ltd lost 3.8 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 505 to 292.

Local equities looked set for a second week of gain.

The South Korean won stood at 1,186.5 to the US dollar nearly unchanged compared to Thursday's close of 1,186.6.

The won was expected to decline on a weekly basis.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 110.38.