S.Korean shares fall on Fed tapering fears; Europe data limits losses
(Updates to midday)
* U.S. data overnight fuels bets for Fed tapering in September
* Tech sector struggle; auto shares on the rise
* Hyundai Group shares up on hopes of inter-Korea economic cooperation
SEOUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) - South Korea shares fell on Friday as improving U.S. jobs data and rising consumer prices added to speculation the Federal Reserve will soon begin to trim its stimulus, but further losses were limited by Europe's firm data.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.5 percent at 1,914.86 points as of 0200 GMT, climbing back up from an intraday low 1,901.70. Local markets were closed on Thursday due to a public holiday.
Data showed on Wednesday that the euro zone's two largest economies, German and France, grew faster than expected during the April-June quarter and helped pull the common currency zone out of recession.
"Unlike June, positive developments for the European economy has diluted the U.S.' downside effect on the market," said Park Jung-seop, an analyst of Daishin Securities.
Technology shares fell, with memory chipmaker SK Hynix Inc down 1.4 percent and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd slipped 0.8 percent.
Automakers Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp advanced 1.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Kumho Industrial Co Ltd rose to a market ceiling of 14.9 percent after its shareholders announced they would make use of a circular cross-unit equity investment with its affiliate Asiana Airlines Inc to stabilize the company.
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co and Hyundai Elevator Co Ltd rose 9.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, as two Koreas agreed to reopen the shuttered Kaesong industrial zone late on Wednesday.
Both companies are affiliates of Hyundai Group, which ran tourism projects in North Korea until 2008 when a South Korean tourist was found dead in the North.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 511 to 268.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks declined 0.5 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ fell 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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