Seoul shares down on revived Fed tapering concern; autos struggle
(Updates to midday)
* KOSPI weaker alongside regional markets
* Foreigners on track to snap 6-day net purchasing streak
* Automakers struggle on weak November sales, pressured yen
SEOUL, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell on Tuesday morning after robust U.S. economic indicators reignited concerns of an early stimulus cutback by the Federal Reserve, while exporters, like Hyundai Motor, lost ground as a weaker Japanese yen hurt their competitiveness.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.5 percent at 2,020.27 points as of 0200 GMT after touching an intraday low of 2,016.60.
"Investors' reaction to the upbeat U.S. indicators was to raise concerns over the timing of the Fed's cutback to its stimulus," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities. "The market is seen trapped in a sluggish pattern ahead of the U.S. jobs data due later in the week."
Friday's non-farm payrolls report is expected to provide further clues as to when the Fed will start reducing its monthly $85 billion bond purchases, a major driver of global asset markets in recent years.
Wall Street edged lower as robust U.S. economic indicators such as November factory activity survey and October construction spending bolstered speculation that the Fed will soon reduce its massive stimulus.
As mid-session neared, foreign investors had sold a net 21.8 billion won ($20.62 million), and appeared poised to snap the six-day net purchasing streak.
Automobiles was the weakest performing sector this morning, as weak November sales and the yen's depreciation took their toll.
Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp dropped 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
Tech companies struggled, with LG Display Co Ltd falling 1.8 percent while Samsung SDI Co Ltd slipped 1.4 percent. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the largest component in KOSPI, edged up 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the country's second-largest mobile carrier KT Corp fell 1.3 percent, adding to the recent skid as a regulatory filing on Friday revealed the company's dividend for shareholders will decrease due to weak earnings.
KT Corp shares dropped 6.8 percent in the previous session, the sharpest single day decline since October 2008. ($1 = 1057.2000 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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