Seoul shares fall for fifth day on Q4 earnings concerns

Wed Jan 9, 2013 1:49am EST

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* Blue chips mostly down; Samsung Electronics ends flat

* NCsoft down 4.5 pct after Morgan Stanley cuts price target

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL, Jan 9 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell for a fifth straight session on Wednesday as investors remained cautious about the lacklustre outlook for upcoming fourth-quarter corporate earnings results.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed down 0.31 percent at 1,991.81 points. The KOSPI is now down 1.9 percent from a nine-month peak reached on Jan. 2.

"The main board fell while Asian peers rose due to concerns that local fourth-quarter earnings results will disappoint, while the trading flow was somewhat stemmed by caution before the options expiry (on Thursday)," said Kang Hyun-gie, an analyst at IM Investment & Securities.

Blue chips were mostly down. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics closed flat, failing to regain ground after a four-session losing streak.

Online game developer NCsoft slid 4.5 percent to 147,500 won, after Morgan Stanley slashed its price target for the stock to 130,000 won from 375,000 won.

"We advise cutting losses on NCsoft - we see continued cannibalization of existing games and at best moderate success for new games in China," Morgan Stanley analyst Sam Min wrote in a research note on Wednesday.

Among small- and mid-cap stocks, Tongyang Inc rose 5.5 percent and Tongyang Networks Corp rose by the daily limit of 15 percent.

The Korea Economic Daily reported on Wednesday that Tongyang Networks had ended negotiations to sell its IT service business to IBM's South Korean unit for 50 billion won ($47 million).

The report added Tongyang Inc is set to sell its textiles business to South Korea-based Kabul International Co for 80 billion won. Tongyang Inc is the largest shareholder of Tongyang Network Corp.

Local institutional and foreign investors sold a net 141.5 billion Korean won ($133 million) worth of KOSPI shares, weighing on the main board.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 429 to 379. The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.4 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ rose 0.6 percent.

Move on day -0.31 percent

12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012

12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012

Change on yr -1.9 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1062.9500 Korean won) (Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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