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Seoul: Stocks, won calm as investors await US, Japan global events

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares and won were mostly unchanged in early trade on Friday as investors held positions ahead of the US and Japanese central bank policy decisions next week, though a halt in Wall Street's rally overnight has weighed on sentiment.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was at 2,012.02 points as of 0141 GMT, little changed from the previous close.

The won was quoted at 1,134.9, up 0.1 per cent compared with Thursday's close of 1,135.9.

"Local stocks won't extend their fall to a large extent as investors will probably stay away from aggressive trading ahead of meetings by the Federal Open Market Committee and the Bank of Japan next week," said Park Seok Hyun, a stock analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

Offshore investors are set to snap an eleven-day buying spree and become sellers. They offloaded a net 25.1 billion Korean won (S$30 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was down 1.5 per cent and LG Chem Ltd lost 3 per cent due to foreign stock-dumping.

Advancers slightly outnumbered decliners by 409 to 342.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 111.08.