* 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 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
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
"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,
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