* Samsung has 1st quarterly operating profit decline in 2
* Automakers Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors down
* China, US factory surveys crimp risk appetite
SEOUL, Jan 24 Seoul shares touched a 4-1/2 month
low on Friday morning due to disappointing Korean earnings
reports and concern about factory activity in China and the U.S.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.7 percent at 1,933.02 points as of 0225 GMT after
reaching an intraday low of 1,931.09, its lowest level since
"The market is pressured by earnings worries, especially
after the two largest components in Samsung Electronics and
Hyundai Motor recorded worse-than-expected figures," said Bae
Sung-young, a market analyst at Hyundai Securities."
In its fourth quarter earnings, announced before the market
opened, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported a
quarterly decline in operating profit for the first time in two
The stock gained 0.7 percent on Friday, but was still down
more than 4 percent this month on concern over slowing
Hyundai Motor Co dropped 2.8 percent after
posting its first year-on-year fall in quarterly revenue in
nearly three years.
Affiliate Kia Motors Corp dipped 2.6 percent
after reporting soft earnings.
The U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for
January fell in December, a preliminary private survey on
Thursday. This came after a worse-than-expected preliminary HSBC
China manufacturing PMI that cooled risk appetites.
Foreigners and institutional investors sold a combined net
148 billion won ($137.8 million) of KOSPI shares near
mid-session, weighing on the index.
Daelim Industrial Co Ltd tumbled 3.6 percent
after it posted a operating deficit for fourth quarter.
Sector peer GS Engineering & Construction Co Ltd
, which is issuing convertible bonds to improve
liquidity, plunged 7.9 percent.
($1 = 1073.9500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Richard Borsuk)