November 9, 2012 / 3:00 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares down on U.S. fiscal, euro zone concerns

* Blue chips down; late-session China data eyed

* Woongjin Holdings up 15 pct on news of unit sale

* Lotte Shopping down more than 3 pct on weak earnings

SEOUL, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell on Friday morning, mirroring overnight declines in U.S. and European stocks as a looming fiscal crisis in the United States and uncertainty about a bailout for Greece worried investors.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had dropped 1 percent to 1894.81 points as of 0229 GMT. It has lost more than 2 percent since Wednesday.

"Focus has turned back to the economy after the U.S. election, with concerns over euro zone risk resurfacing while worries about the (U.S.) fiscal cliff are weighing on the local index," said Kim Soon-young, an analyst at IBK Securities.

She added that the main board could pare losses if China economic data to be released late in the session is positive.

News that South Korea's central bank held interest rates steady, as expected, had minimal impact on the market.

Blue chips were mostly lower, with tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics slipping 0.9 percent and Hyundai Motor falling 1.9 percent.

Lotte Shopping slid 3.5 percent after the department store operator reported a 19.5 percent year-on-year decline in third-quarter operating profit.

Woongjin Holdings bucked the trend and rose 14.8 percent, gaining for a fifth session after it submitted a proposal to a South Korean court to sell water purifier maker Woongjin Coway to private equity fund MBK Partners for 1.2 trillion won.

The sale had previously been halted when Woongjin Holdings applied for court receivership in late September.

Shares in power cable maker Taihan Electric Wire rose 8 percent on news it had won overseas orders.

Foreign investors sold a net 142.7 billion won ($131 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index. Declining shares outnumbered winners 540 to 241.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 1 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.4 percent lower. ($1 = 1089.5000 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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