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Seoul: Stocks tread water, won calm ahead of US data

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 11:00

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won moved cautiously early on Friday, staying close to their previous closing levels as investors were in an observant mood ahead of jobs data from the United States later in the global day.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.2 per cent at 2,067.19 points as of 0232 GMT.

The won stood at 1,146.5 to the US dollar, little changed from Thursday's close of 1,146.8.

Cho Byung-hyun, a stock analyst at Yuanta Securities said even after the jobs data, the Kospi is likely to show limited volatility in the near term.

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"The index movement will be very narrow as investors'expectation about fundamental improvement in the global economy and worries about declines in the IT sector due to profit-taking and Trump's future policies all co-exist in the market," added Mr Cho.

A local bank trader told Reuters investors were unlikely to chase the won up aggressively on Friday ahead of the US data and the weekend. The US jobs report will be released hours after South Korean markets are closed.

Meanwhile, investors shrugged off special prosecutors' plan to execute a search warrant on President Park Geun-hye's office linked to a political scandal that has engulfed the country.

Offshore stock investors were set to be sellers, offloading a net 47 billion won (S$57.4 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.1 per cent while LG Display lost more than 2 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 478 to 319.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 109.43.

REUTERS

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