[SEOUL] South Korean stocks and won held steady on Tuesday, with early trade in equities dominated by a jump in shares of Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd after the government stepped in with partial financial support for the collapsed carrier.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was almost unchanged at 2,060.24 points as of 0204 GMT, after rising the previous day on reduced chance of a September rate increase in the United States following disappointing jobs data.
The won stood at 1,106.6, little changed from Monday's close of 1,105.1.
"Outside issues have pretty much calmed down for now. Therefore, fundamentals in the South Korean market such as signs of economic recovery would be the key for the Kospi's next movement," said Cho Byung-hyun, a stock analyst at Yuanta Securities.
He added that schedlued speeches by Federal Reserve officials this week may influence markets.
Offshore investors purchased a net 34.3 billion Korean won (S$41.7 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.
Shares of Hanjin Shipping Co rose as much as 28 per cent as South Korea's government decided to provide the collapsed carried with roughly 100 billion won of long-term, low interest funding.
LG Life Sciences Ltd rose as much as 10.2 per cent after LG Chem Ltd said is considering a merger with the company.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 458 to 317.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 110.79.