Seoul shares down on corporate earnings, won edges up

Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:23pm EDT

* KOSPI on track to snap 5-week winning streak
    * Won gains on exporter demand

    SEOUL, April 25 (Reuters) - Seoul shares inched down to
their lowest levels in a week on Friday morning, set to snap a
five-week gaining streak as softer-than-expected corporate
earnings results weighed on large caps such as Hyundai Motor.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.5 percent at 1,987.56 points as of 0210 GMT after
touching an intraday low of 1,986.10, the weakest since April
17. On a weekly basis, the main index is down 0.8 percent.
    "There are still doubts about whether earnings of local
companies are on the rebound amid an unstable Chinese economy,
leaving investors hesitant of big bets," said Kang Hyun-gee, an
analyst at IM Investment & Securities.
    Hyundai Motor Co, the second-largest component
in the KOSPI, fell 2.3 percent after dropping more than 3
percent earlier in the session. The automaker reported a
smaller-than-expected quarterly profit hit by appreciation in
the local currency.  
    Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) slid 2.8
percent after announcing a 40.1 percent decline in operational
profit from a year ago during the January-March quarter on
Thursday.
    Meanwhile, the world's biggest smartphone maker Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd underpinned the broader market by
adding 0.6 percent, poised to extend its winning streak to three
days on expectations for improving earnings in the near future.
    In the foreign exchange market, the South Korean won 
edged higher on demand by exporters for month-end settlements in
lukewarm trade.
    The local currency was quoted at 1,038.0 against
the dollar as of 0219 GMT, up 0.1 percent from Thursday's
onshore close at 1,039.2.
    June futures on three-year treasury bonds ticked up
0.01 point to 105.74.     
                       0210 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,038.0       1,039.2
 Yen/won           10.1308/387       10.1573
 *KTB futures           105.74        105.73
 KOSPI                1,987.56      1,998.34
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)