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Seoul shares flat before Fed statement, U.S. data
July 31, 2013 / 3:03 AM / 4 years ago

Seoul shares flat before Fed statement, U.S. data

* Foreign investors sell after seven consecutive buying sessions

* Automakers down after run of gains

* STX Group shares jump on rescue hopes

SEOUL, July 31 (Reuters) - South Korean shares were little changed on Wednesday as market momentum slowed before a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement and U.S. GDP data that are expected to give new trading cues.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.12 percent at 1,914.83 points at 0226 GMT. The index is up 2.8 percent in July.

“Caution before the release of FOMC policy statement is keeping investors on the sideline,” said Park Jung-seop, a market analyst at Daishin Securities, saying he expected the market to hold in a narrow range.

Traders expect the Federal Reserve will indicate it is readying to pare its monetary stimulus if the economy continues to improve, but reiterate it has no plans to raise interest rates. Second-quarter GDP numbers expected to show the U.S. economy slowed in the second quarter.

Foreign investors were sellers of a net 29.2 billion Korean won ($26 million) of stocks, putting them on track to snap seven consecutive sessions of buying. Institutions were net buyers in morning trade.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc rose 0.55 percent.

“Semiconductor sector plays are riding higher on positive earnings expectations for the third quarter,” said Kim Young-chan, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp, adding SK Hynix is seen posting record profits in the third quarter.

Hyundai Motor Co lost 1.05 percent and Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd dropped 0.9 percent, after both stocks had risen for five days.

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd jumped 13.6 percent as creditors are expected to agree to a rescue plan on Wednesday. STX Corp, STX Offshore’s largest shareholder, surged 14.88 percent.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 380 to 331.

The KOSPI benchmark of core stocks dipped 0.15 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ gained 0.52 percent. ($1 = 1113.8000 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by John Mair)

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