* U.S. homes sales drop to 1-1/2 yr low
* China shares at 2-wk low pull down some stocks
* G20 meeting signals optimism, but no market impact
By Christine Kim
SEOUL, Feb 24 Seoul shares were down slightly on
Monday as foreigners sold stocks on soft U.S. housing data and a
fall in China markets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), which
edged up to a one-month high shortly after opening, was down 0.3
percent at 1,951.13 points at 0235 GMT.
Data from the National Association of Realtors showed U.S.
home resales fell to an 18-month low in January. This was
attributed to severe cold weather, in line with other data
showing soft U.S. growth
Choi Dong-hwan, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp., said
he expects the Kospi to be in what he called a "stuffy" period
where the index makes only small moves until mid-March.
The Seoul market wasn't moved by the communique from the
two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in
Sydney, which said they would increase investment and
Offshore investors net sold 48.0 billion won ($44.78
million) of KOSPI shares near mid-session, while institutions
and retailers were net buyers of 9.2 billion won and 37.6
billion worth, respectively.
Services led the fall with game development company NCSoft
Corp diving 4.7 percent.
Telecommunications heavyweights SK Telecom Co Ltd
and KT Corp slipped 2.2 percent and 1
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd
outperformed and was up around 1.3 percent after
saying it won two orders worth a total $640 million to build
eight very large gas carriers (VLGCs) for two Asia-based firms.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 420 to 347.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.3
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ was nearly flat, easing
($1 = 1072.0000 Korean won)
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)