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S. Korean shares down in late morning trade

2016/07/14 11:32

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares edged down late Thursday morning, as investors sought to lock in recent gains.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 3.24 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,002.31 as of 11:20 a.m.

Market watchers said the KOSPI is taking a breather after reaching a monthly high a day earlier. It's also affected by weak data on China's June trade and a drop in global oil prices, they added.

As widely expected, the Bank of Korea left the key interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent.

"We will have to monitor (the market situation) until next week to predict whether the KOPSI will stay above the 2,000-point mark with stability," Kim Jeong-hwan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., said. "For now, however, it seems like conditions have been created for additional hikes."

   Among positive signs is the government's move to allocate supplementary budgets and looming earning surprises by major industry players.

Geopolitical risks from the finalized plan to let the U.S. deploy the THAAD advanced missile defense system here are feared to weigh down on the local equity market.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.44 percent, and leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 2.95 percent.

Naver Corp., the dominant internet portal, also shed 2.37 percent ahead of its listing of the shares of its Japanese arm LINE Corp. in Tokyo and New York.

The local currency was trading at 1,142.85 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.55 won from the previous session's close.