Seoul shares hit near 2-week low on Fed tapering jitters

Tue Dec 3, 2013 9:44pm EST

* KOSPI on track for 4th consecutive losing session

* Foreigners sell local stocks to drag on main index

* Heavyweights Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor fall

SEOUL, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell to their lowest point in nearly two weeks on Wednesday morning, tracking weaker global equities as investors were unnerved by signs the U.S. Federal Reserve could be close to reducing its stimulus.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.9 percent at 1,990.85 points by 0200 GMT after touching an intraday low of 1,989.06, its lowest since Nov. 22.

The KOPSI was on track for a fourth straight losing session and was trading below the psychologically important 2,000 level for the first time since Nov. 26.

"Like other global stock markets, the South Korean market lacks a catalyst to outweigh the Fed stimulus cutback worries amid a weak yen pressuring exporters," said Kim Yong-goo, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Wall Street fell for a third day and European stock markets suffered their biggest falls since August on Tuesday, stepping back from record levels on profit-taking ahead of the U.S. November jobs report due this week.

The U.S. payrolls data is expected to provide further clues as to when the Fed will begin dialling back its stimulus.

Foreign investors sold a net 129.3 billion won ($122 million) worth of local shares near midsession, weighing on the market.

Kia Motors Corp rose 1.8 percent, attracting bargain hunting after tumbling 5.2 percent on Tuesday in its biggest daily percentage drop since Nov. 5, 2012.

But affiliate Hyundai Motor Co continued to struggle, falling 1.1 percent. It has come under pressure amid a weak yen that bolsters the price competitiveness of its Japanese rivals in overseas markets.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the largest company in the KOSPI by market capitalisation, fell 1.3 percent, extending its skid so far this month. In November, it had logged its best monthly performance since December 2012.

Mobile carrier LG Uplus dropped 3.8 percent after U.S. Senate committees expressed concerns over reports that China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has been chosen to build a nationwide wireless network in South Korea.

Declining shares outnumbered winners 572 to 196.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 1 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ slipped 0.6 percent. ($1 = 1061.2000 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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