S.Korea stocks dip to over 6-week low on earnings worries

Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:14pm EDT

* Stocks down on foreign outflows, eye weekly loss
    * Won edges lower on choppy trade, down for the week

    SEOUL, June 20 (Reuters) - South Korean shares slipped to
their lowest level in more than six weeks on Friday morning as
concerns about earnings prompted offshore investors to dump
heavyweight exporters such as Samsung Electronics.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 1.02 percent at 1,971.19 points as of 0303 GMT after
touching an intraday low of 1,969.59, the lowest intraday level
since May 12.
    For the week, the index is down 1 percent and appeared
headed for a second consecutive weekly decline.
    "The outcome of U.S. central bank's policy meeting triggered
the won's strength in the previous session, rekindling concerns
about Samsung Electronics' and exporters' earnings outlooks,"
said Kim Byung-yeon, a market analyst at Woori Investment &
Securities.
    Foreign investors positioned as net sellers by dumping 197
billion won ($193.55 million) worth of KOSPI shares near
mid-session, dragging Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and
Hyundai Motor Co down 1.7 percent and 2 percent,
respectively.
    The two companies account for 20.4 percent of the KOSPI,
according to the bourse.
    Samsung Electronics recorded the top turnover in morning
trade as "investors began to weigh in the fundamental aspect of
the company after hopes about Samsung Group's restructuring had
been priced in," said Daishin Securities analyst Oh Seung-hoon.
    Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd dropped 3.4
percent after Samsung Foundation on Thursday said it will sell
2.5 percent stake in Samsung Life worth 500 billion won ($491.26
million) to domestic and overseas investors.
    According to sources close to the matter, 80 percent of
Samsung Life's 2.5 percent stake was purchased by overseas
investors, prompting demand for the won.
    The won eased slightly on stock outflows, but pared
earlier losses on demand by exporters.
    "There is some talk of Samsung Life funds as the won
rebounded from an intraday low," said a foreign exchange dealer
at a commercial bank.
    The local currency was quoted at 1,019.4 versus
the dollar as of 0255 GMT, down 0.1 percent from Thursday's
onshore close at 1,018.7. It traded in the range between 1,018.8
and 1,020.6.
    A Reuters poll on Thursday showed long positions in the
South Korean won eased slightly on increasing caution over
possible intervention by the foreign exchange authorities to
stem the currency's appreciation. 
    The won is down 0.2 percent so far in the week.    
    
                       0255 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,019.4       1,018.7
 Yen/won           10.0079/029        9.9894
 *KTB futures           106.32        106.31
 KOSPI                1,971.19      1,992.03
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
    ($1 = 1017.8000 South Korean won)

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Additional reporting by Yena Park,
KyoungHo Lee; Editing by Matt Driskill)