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Seoul: Stocks, won flat; BOJ decision awaited

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won were flat early on Friday, with market players awaiting the outcome of a Bank of Japan policy meeting that could see it expand monetary stimulus for the world's third-largest economy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was flat at 2,021.40 points as of 0216 GMT.

The won also stood flat at 1,123.5, nearly unchanged compared with Thursday's close of 1,124.4.

"I don't see much (from the BOJ) that will snap the Kospi's recent rising trend thanks to ample global liquidity," Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities said.

"Until Yellen speaks at Jackson Hole and the US jobs data release in August, the greenback is likely to stay calm, supporting riskier assets broadly."

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen plans to speak at the US central bank's Jackson Hole conference on Aug 26 which has been the venue for major policy announcements.

The Kospi and won were both set to end the week up.

Offshore investors were expected to be buyers for 17 straight days, purchasing a net 163.5 billion Korean won (S$195.3 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

The sub-index for electrics and electronics rose 2.4 per cent with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd up 2.7 per cent and SK Hynix Inc up 1.8 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 469 to 316.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds held steady at 111.17.