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S. Korean stocks turn higher despite US-N. Korea tension

South Korean stocks turned higher late Wednesday morning, despite increased selling by foreign investors amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 1.16 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,375.48 as of 11:23 a.m.

The KOSPI's gains followed overnight losses on Wall Street with the Dow Jones average backtracking 0.05 percent.

"Foreign investors sold large-cap tech stocks in the face of persistent North Korea risks," said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is "totally prepared" to use military options against North Korea. His latest warning came in response to North Korea's threat a day earlier to shoot down approaching American bombers, even in international air space.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. gained 0.50 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was up 0.97 percent.

Meanwhile, top steelmaker POSCO was down 1.11 percent, and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, lost 1.33 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,139.65 won against the US dollar, down 2.85 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
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