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Seoul: Stocks end flat as stalled US stimulus offsets data optimism

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed almost flat on Monday as dented hopes over a new US stimulus plan and a global surge in coronavirus cases offset optimism around domestic data. 

The benchmark Kospi rose 1.67 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,251.04.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday he was not optimistic on reaching agreement soon on a deal for the next round of legislation to provide relief to Americans hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A private survey showed on Monday South Korea's manufacturing activity shrank at a much slower pace in July, signalling that a gradual recovery in demand is gaining momentum, although the resurgence in infections remained a risk.

The country on Saturday reported a 7 per cent contraction in July exports, the slowest in four months, providing further signs of a recovery.

Foreigners were net sellers of US$225.21 million worth of shares on the main board.



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