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[SEOUL] South Korean shares were nearly steady on Thursday with investors concerned about upcoming central bank policy meetings and a referendum on Britain continuing in the European Union.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was nearly steady at 1,958.91 as of 0240 GMT.
"Weak Chinese stocks are currently pressuring the Kospi, while investors are holding their positions ahead of the events," said Kim Ye-eun, a stock analyst with LIG Investment & Securities, adding Chinese stocks' movement would decide the direction for the day.
South Korean shares had risen early in the session but gains were erased after Chinese stock markets opened down.
Offshore investors were expected to be net buyers and had purchased a net 46.8 billion won (S$54.46 million) worth shares near mid-session.
Shares of STX Group-related firms plunged to their all-time lows after lead creditor Korea Development Bank said on Wednesday that STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd will likely need to enter court-supervised receivership.
Automobile shares supported the broader market, with Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd up 4.7 per cent and Ssangyong Motor Co Ltd 1.4 per cent higher.
Losers outnumbered winners 436 to 341.
The South Korean won was up 0.1 per cent at 1,181.3 per dollar, compared with the previous close of 1,182.5.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 110.29.