Seoul shares near five-month low as earnings fears hit techs

Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:27am EDT

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By Joyce Lee

SEOUL, April 18 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell on Thursday to a near five-month low, as LG Display led a broad selloff of tech stocks on worries about slowing demand for Apple Inc's products and a weak growth outlook for Intel .

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 1.2 percent at 1,900.06 points, its lowest closing since Nov. 22.

"Concerns over corporate earnings tested the 1,900-point threshold, with investors led by foreigners offloading tech shares such as LG Display as weak performance results are expected from Apple," said Park Suk-hyun, an analyst at KTB Securities.

Foreign investors sold a net 232.6 billion won ($208 million) of KOSPI shares at closing, continuing a trend of foreign selloffs that saw them offload a net 2.13 trillion won between April 1 and 17.

Tech shares fell, led by a sharp 4.8 percent drop in Apple supplier LG Display after a poor revenue forecast from Cirrus Logic, another key Apple supplier, raised worries on Wednesday of slowing demand for the iPhone maker's products.

Chipmakers also underperformed, after world's largest semiconductor maker Intel Corp forecast a sharp decline in its current-quarter revenue and trimmed its 2013 capital spending plans.

Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics slid 2.3 percent while SK Hynix dropped 3 percent.

Most large-caps were down, with automakers losing ground after a 10.3 percent decline in March European car sales, heading for a sixth straight annual decline to a two-decade low.

Hyundai Motor Co fell 2.1 percent while sibling Kia Motors dropped 1.9 percent.

But Dongkuk Steel Mill bucked trends, rising 3.3 percent after the company said Exxon Mobil approved it as a project vendor eligible to supply steel plates for Exxon Mobil's offshore structures.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks fell 1.5percent, while the junior KOSDAQ dropped 1.3 percent.

Move on day -1.2 percent

12-month high 2,031.10 2 January 2013

12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012

Change on yr -6.5 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1118.4500 Korean won) (Editing by Eric Meijer)

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