SEOUL Jan 3 South Korean shares closed at their lowest level in four months on Friday as fears of weaker corporate earnings prompted foreign investors to offload market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) finished down 1.1 percent at 1,946.14 points, its lowest close since Sept.4.
The KOSPI also underperformed regional markets in the holiday-shortened week, falling 2.8 percent.
Foreign investors positioned as net sellers, offloading a net 321.1 billion won ($305.72 million) worth of KOSPI shares to drag down the main index.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd shares fell 1 percent in response to broker downgrades for its October-December quarterly earnings.
The stock fell more than 7 percent on the week, its worst weekly performance since early-June 2013. Samsung Electronics is to report preliminary Oct-Dec earnings on Jan.7.
($1 = 1050.3000 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Kim Coghill)