Seoul shares post worst day in nearly a month, large-caps weigh

SEOUL, March 3 Mon Mar 3, 2014 1:10am EST

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SEOUL, March 3 (Reuters) - Seoul shares posted their worst daily fall in nearly a month on Monday, dragged down by escalating geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, while a contraction in Chinese factory activity prompted investors to lock in recent gains.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.8 percent at 1,964.69 points, its biggest daily drop since a 1.7 percent decline on Feb. 4.

The main index has risen in seven of the last ten sessions to gain more than 2 percent by Friday.

Offshore investors sold a net 76.1 billion won ($71.3 million) worth of KOSPI shares, snapping a six-day net buying streak.

Heavyweights led the broader market decline, with tech-giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and steelmaker POSCO dropping 1.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, South Korea's president on Monday nominated a former senior deputy chief of the central bank to be its next governor, with the mission of ensuring price stability in Asia's fourth-largest economy. ($1 = 1067.5000 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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