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Korean shares turn higher on Wall Street gains

South Korean stocks turned higher late Tuesday morning tracking gains on Wall Street ahead of this week's rate decision in Seoul and Washington.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 2.11 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,029.35 as of 11:15 a.m.

The rise followed overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.20 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index declining 0.59 percent.

Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at Hyundai Securities Co., said global stocks were up, tracking gains on Wall Street.

"Local stocks moved in line with global equities as stocks in South Korea gained less compared to other major stock markets," he said.

Other analysts said investors took a wait-and-see attitude on this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

"Declines in large-cap stocks weighed on the index," said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities as investors remain cautious on a US rate decision.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.11 percent and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. was up 0.38 percent.

Meanwhile, state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 0.55 percent and Naver, the top Internet portal operator, fell 0.76 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,166.35 won against the US dollar, up 1.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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