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Seoul: Stocks flat, won edges lower

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[SEOUL] South Korean stocks were steady and the won edged down early on Monday as investors were cautious ahead of the release of domestic and overseas economic indicators and speeches from US Federal Reserve officials over coming days.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.1 per cent at 1,985.92 points as of 0247 GMT, although losing stocks topped gainers by 446 to 355. Foreign investors were net sellers of a small amount of stocks.

The won was down slightly at 1,171.1 per US dollar from Friday's close at 1,169.2.

"The won's declining trend continued after sharp gains last week as traders were unsure about the near-term direction of US interest rate policy," said Park Yuna, an fixed-income analyst at Dongbu Securities.

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Investors were reluctant to stake out any major positions pending the release of indicators including South Korea's exports data and the US jobs report due later in the week.

Attention will also be on a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the economic outlook and monetary policy on Tuesday. A few other Fed policymakers are also due to speak on the same day.

On the stock market, tech giant Samsung Electronics Co rose 0.6 per cent, extending its rally into a fifth consecutive session. Automaker Hyundai Motor gained one per cent, pulling ahead after a three-day losing streak.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 110.23.