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South Korea: Stocks subdued despite record earnings from Samsung

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares were flat on Friday even after tech giant Samsung Electronics said its quarterly operating profit likely hit an all-time high.

The global memory chip leader said second-quarter operating profit likely jumped 72 per cent from a year earlier to 14 trillion won (S$16.75 billion). But traders said that share markets had already priced in expectations for robust profit-growth.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.3 per cent at 2,381.80 points at 0200 GMT.

"Market players were expecting over 13 trillion won of quarterly profit (at Samsung), so 14 trillion won is not that much of a surprise," said Rhoo Yong Seok, an analyst at KB Securities.

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Samsung was trading down 0.2 per cent after opening 0.7 per cent lower than its last close.

Rhoo added that the Seoul bourse as a whole seemed to be taking a breather amid growing uncertainty regarding monetary policy at major central banks.

Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading 60.4 billion Korean won's worth of Kospi shares near the middle of the session.

LG Electronics lost 1.7 per cent, while LG Display dropped 2.1 per cent. Decliners outnumbered advancers by 500 to 287.

The South Korean won barely moved, standing at 1,156.7 to the dollar versus Thursday's close of 1,157.4.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06 point to 109.09.

REUTERS

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