S.Korea stocks little-changed despite Wall St doom, won eases

Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:05pm EDT

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* KOSPI supported by rally in local tech stocks
    * Won eases, 4-day gaining streak in jeopardy

    SEOUL, April 14 (Reuters) - Seoul shares were nearly flat on
Monday, shrugging off Wall Street weakness as local technology
stocks rallied on hopes of upbeat earnings, while the won 
eased on dollar short-covering and caution over strong
remittance outflows.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.1 percent at 1,999.63 points as of 0232 GMT after briefly
touching an intraday high of 2,001.00.
    "The market is defending its level fairly well against the
low-valuation merit of local stocks and weakened risk sentiment
because of the recent selloff on Wall Street," said SK
Securities analyst Ko Seung-hee.
    He noted that active buying of emerging stocks was seen 
extending in the near term, which would further lift the index
as investors questioned the valuations of advanced market
stocks.
    U.S. stocks slid on Friday, hit by selling in biotech and
momentum stocks to post their biggest weekly decline since June
2012. KOSPI, on the other hand, added 0.5 percent last week.
    Foreign investors net-sold 23 billion won ($22.2 million)
worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, but gradually trimmed
the amount. Foreigners have net-bought local shares for 13
straight days, bringing their net buying to nearly 2.9 trillion
won during the period. 
    Technology shares rallied in the morning session, with
electronic-components maker Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd
 and panel maker LG Display Co Ltd 
advancing 3.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively. 
    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world's biggest 
maker of smartphones edged up 0.3 percent.
    Meanwhile, transport led sub-index declines in
the morning with Hyundai Glovis Co Ltd dropping 2.8 percent.
Korean Air Lines Co Ltd fell 1.6 percent. 
    In the foreign exchange market, the won was looking as if it
would end its four-day winning streak against the greenback,
with investor cautious of potential intervention by South Korean
foreign exchange authorities to curb the pace of the won's 
appreciation.
    Dealers also tipped a possible spike in dollar demand for
remittance outflows for the fall. Samsung Electronics and KB
Financial Group Inc on Monday made a combined 1.4
trillion won in dividend payments to their respective
shareholders.
    The local currency was quoted at 1,038.6 versus
the dollar at onshore trade as of 0232 GMT, down 0.4 percent
from Friday's close at 1,035.0.
     
                       0232 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,038.6       1,035.0
 Yen/won           10.2275/355       10.1739
 *KTB futures           105.75        105.80
 KOSPI                1,999.63      1,997.44
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

($1 = 1035.0500 Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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