Seoul shares edge down on foreign selling, large-caps support

Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:10pm EST

* Bluechip exporters rise on yen appreciation

* Foreigners re-position as net sellers

SEOUL Jan 14 (Reuters) - Seoul shares reversed earlier gains to edge lower on Tuesday morning, tracking global markets as foreigners offloaded local stocks, but the yen's sharp rise limited further losses.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.3 percent at 1,942.57 points as of 0245 GMT after touching an intraday high of 1,961.73.

"Although the yen's rise against the won helped risk sentiment, the market lacks risk variables for a push with markets across the globe falling," said Choi Kwang-hyeok, an analyst at E-Trade Securities.

U.S. stocks fell overnight on mounting negative pre-announcements that left a lacklustre profit growth outlook, with nearly 10 out of 11 preliminary figures from S&P 500 companies lowered, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The decline pushed the dollar down to a four-week low against the yen, which indirectly helped the Japanese currency's appreciation against the won to alleviate pressures that had weighed on South Korean exporters.

The two largest components in the KOSPI were poised to finish with strong gains for a second straight session. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd advanced 1.3 percent, while Hyundai Motor Co added 2 percent near mid-session.

Meanwhile, foreign investors re-positioned as net sellers near the mid-session, offloading a net 46.3 billion won ($43.8 million) to weigh on the main bourse.

The construction sector and the banking sector suffered from foreign outflows, highlighted by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd and Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd, which dropped 4.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 237 to 533.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.2 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.3 percent lower.

($1 = 1056.6500 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.