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Korean stocks down from 6-yr high, Samsung spikes

South Korean stocks traded lower early Thursday morning, slipping from their six-year highs, with top market cap Samsung Electronics hitting a fresh record high.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) shed 3.85 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,203.99 as of 11:15 a.m.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics was 1.73 percent up after reporting the biggest quarterly earnings in three years aided by robust chip sales.

The world's largest manufacturer of smartphones also said it would buy back stocks worth 9.3 trillion won ($8.23 billion) this year, and cancel its treasury stocks worth 49 trillion won going forward.

In contrast, Samsung C&T, the de facto holding firm for the country's largest conglomerate, dropped 6.08 percent after Samsung Electronics said it would not seek to transform into a holding company structure.

SK hynix, a major chipmaker, slipped 0.19 percent.

Hyundai Motor, the No. 1 automaker, fell 1.66 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors slipped 1.81 percent.

AmorePacific, the country's top cosmetics maker, declined 0.52 percent.

SK Innovation, the country's top refiner, advanced 1.16 percent, and Posco, the No. 1 steelmaker, fell 0.37 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,130.60 won against the US dollar, down 5.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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