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S.Korean shares down on profit-taking, focus on Fed meeting
September 17, 2013 / 2:20 AM / 4 years ago

S.Korean shares down on profit-taking, focus on Fed meeting

* Tech shares struggle on profit-taking ahead of Fed meeting

* Seoul markets closed on holiday for rest of week

* Shipbuilders rise on firm global outlook

* Foreigners on track for another session of net buying

SEOUL, Sept 17 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell on Tuesday as investors locked in profits ahead of a three-day market holiday and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate meeting, with heavyweight Samsung Electronics’ weighing on the broader market.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.7 percent at 2,000.09 points at 0201 GMT after touching a low of 1,994.76.

Despite a lacklustre August U.S. jobs report, the Federal Reserve is expected to begin curbing its massive stimulus by reducing its monthly asset purchases by about $10 billion from the current $85 billion. It begins a two-day meeting later on Tuesday.

“Profit-taking by the investors stem from the long closure of the market,” said Hyundai Securities analyst Bae Sung-young. “Foreign investors are continuing to buy local shares, which indicate the upward momentum hasn’t died out just yet.”

South Korean markets will be closed from Wednesday to Friday for the Chuseok traditional Thanksgiving holidays, which is affecting investors’ appetite. Local markets will resume trade on Sept. 23.

Foreign investors were poised to extend their net buying streak to an 18th consecutive session, purchasing 75.7 billion won ($69.95 million) worth of local shares in the morning.

Samsung Electronics, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the KOSPI’s total market capitalisation, was down 2.8 percent on profit-taking and tracking its smartphone rival Apple Inc’s 3.2 percent decline overnight.

LG Electronics Inc and its affiliate LG Display Co Ltd dropped 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Shipbuilders buttressed the main index, with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd rising 3.7 percent, while its sector peers such as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd and Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd advanced 3.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, as the global economy is seen to be stabilising.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 400 to 346.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks slipped 0.8 percent lower.

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