* Foreign investors offload shares for 7th session
* Hyundai Motor up near 2 pct after steady declines since
By Joyce Lee
SEOUL, Nov 16 Seoul shares slid on Friday as
investor sentiment remained cautious on concerns over the U.S.
fiscal stand-off, and Europe's return to recession for the first
time since 2009.
Foreigners continued to offload South Korean stocks for the
seventh consecutive session, selling a net 136.5 billion Korean
won ($125.60 million) of shares over the period.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed
down 0.5 percent at 1,860.83 points, extending losses after
reaching its lowest closing since Aug. 3 in the previous
"Concern over the U.S. fiscal cliff weighed on the index
before the upcoming meeting between Obama and leaders of
Congress [on Friday]," said Kim Ji-hyung, an analyst at Hanyang
Investors will be watching Friday's meeting at the White
House between President Barack Obama and Republican and
Democratic leaders of Congress over deficit reduction for signs
the two sides are moving closer.
Blue chips were mixed, with market heavyweight Samsung
Electronics falling 1.8 percent.
Hyundai Motor rose 1.9 percent and sibling Kia
Motors rallied 6 percent as investors snapped up
shares after recent declines saw both shares fall 11 percent or
more since start of October.
Shares in state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp
(KEPCO) gained 1.1 percent as South Korea unveiled a
plan to secure extra power capacity and head off potential
blackouts after the closure of two nuclear reactors.
Securities brokerages lost ground as a bill to
bolster investment banking operations in local brokerages was
stalled in a parliamentary subcommittee on Thursday, decreasing
the likelihood of approval before parliament's current session
Among small- and mid-cap shares, S.M. Entertainment Co
extended steep declines of the last two sessions by
falling 15 percent after the K-Pop record label's third-quarter
operating profit fell far below market forecasts.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 585 to 241.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down
0.5 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ slumped 2.2 percent
Move on day -0.5 percent
12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012
12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011
Change on yr +1.9 percent
All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981
(Editing by Eric Meijer)