Seoul shares slid as profit-taking weighs off recent gains

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:28pm EST

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SEOUL Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Korean shares were down on Wednesday morning as investors took profits off recent gains, with uncertainty over how the United States can resolve its fiscal woes deflating risk appetites.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was 0.84 percent lower at 1,909.0 points as of 0216 GMT.

"The U.S. fiscal cliff is a concern, but the main board is down as investors are taking profits as the local market saw rapid gains since last week," said Park Hae-sung, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities.

Through Tuesday, the KOSPI rose 3.5 percent in seven sessions.

Asian shares ended a seven-day winning streak on Wednesday as investor concern rose over whether U.S. lawmakers were putting the world's largest economy at risk of a recession by failing to make headway in their budget talks.

Korean blue-chips were mostly down, while market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd trading nearly flat after weaved in and out of negative territory since telecom network equipment maker Ericsson said it was suing Samsung for patent infringement.

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) fell 2.9 percent around mid-session, after final bids for an estimated $1.1 billion stake in the aircraft maker was postponed to December by KAI's largest shareholder on Wednesday.

Foreign investors net sold 141.4 billion won ($130.43 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index. Declining shares outnumbered winners 547 to 213.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.9 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.2 percent lower. ($1 = 1084.1000 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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