(Updates to midday)
* KOSPI poised to finish lower for 4th straight day
* Foreign investors' net selling weighs on index
* Construction, shipbuilding sectors underperform
SEOUL, Dec 13 Seoul shares fell to their lowest
point in three months on Friday morning, extending losses into a
fourth session as investors fretted about a possible early
reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.5 percent at 1,958.46 points by 0207 GMT, its lowest
intraday level since Sept. 6.
"The Fed tapering is continuing to be the talk of the market
because it's unfamiliar territory for investors," said Shinhan
Investment & Securities analyst Han Beom-ho.
"The recent skid has lowered valuations of local stocks, low
enough to bolster bargain hunting for a modest rebound," Han
Wall Street stocks finished weaker for a third straight day
after stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales data added to
signs that the economy is strong enough for the Fed to begin
reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.
Foreign investors sold a net 89.5 billion won ($85 million)
of local shares by late morning after selling a net 607.1
billion won worth the previous day - the most in six months.
Declining shares outnumbered gainers 482 to 266, with
heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd among the
decliners, down 0.9 percent.
Mobile carrier SK Telecom Co Ltd fell 1.6
percent and KB Financial Group Inc dropped 1.2
Construction and shipbuilding were
the biggest sectoral losers. GS Engineering & Construction Corp
tumbled 3.2 percent and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co
Ltd, the world's largest shipbuilder, slid 3
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks and the
junior KOSDAQ both edged 0.5 percent lower.
Meanwhile, North Korea on Friday said Jang Song Thaek, the
uncle of its leader and previously considered the second most
powerful figure, has been executed for treason, but analysts
said the impact on Seoul markets was limited.
($1 = 1051.0500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)