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Seoul stocks end lower ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

South Korean shares ended lower Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of the US-China trade talks Saturday that could provide a pivotal cue for markets. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 3.7 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at 2,130.62. Trade volume was moderate at 530 million shares worth 4.2 trillion won ($3.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 533 to 269.


All eyes are now on Saturday's planned meeting between US.

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping over bilateral trade issues in Osaka on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit that began Friday and lasts through Sunday.

"Institutional and individual investors offloaded some of their stocks. But their stock selling was limited as they expect at least another cease-fire in the US-China trade talks," Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.  

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 1.1 percent to 47,000 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix falling 1 percent to 69,500 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.4 percent to 140,000 won, but No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors gained 0.3 percent to 44,000 won.

Leading steelmaker POSCO remained flat at 244,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,154.7 won against the greenback, up 3.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)