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Seoul: Stocks, won tread water ahead of Fed policy decision

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 10:59

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South Korean shares and the won were little changed on Wednesday as most investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting a US Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won were little changed on Wednesday as most investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting a US Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day.

Local shares got a modest boost from foreign investors, who looked set to be net buyers for a fifth straight session.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.1 per cent at 1,972.48 points as of 0247 GMT.

"We're seeing continued offshore money come into stocks but there is much caution ahead of the Fed's policy meeting results, trapping traders in a wait-and-see mode," said Kim Sung Hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

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Foreign investors purchased a net 42.3 billion Korean won (S$49.03 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.

The sub-index for construction stocks fell 2.9 per cent, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd falling 6.8 per cent. But Samsung Engineering Co Ltd rose 5.6 per cent, supporting the index.

The South Korean won fell against the dollar in early trade, but pared some losses after Reuters reported the Bank of International Settlements recently bought South Korean treasury bonds.

The local currency was quoted at 1,190.9 to the US dollar, inching down 0.3 per cent compared to Tuesday's close at 1,187.7. It had been down around half a per cent prior to the report.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.07 point to 109.98.

REUTERS

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