* Investors worried about fallout from slowing China growth
* Chemical, steel shares down on earnings worries
* Foreigners taking money out for 3rd straight day
By Se Young Lee
SEOUL, March 12 Seoul shares fell in early
domestic trade Wednesday, touching a near-three week low as
persisting worries about China's economic growth outlook cut
appetites for riskier assets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 1.2 percent at 1,939.86 points as of 0215 GMT. The index
earlier traded as low as 1,938.60, its weakest level since Feb.
A sharper-than-expected slowdown in China would likely hurt
earnings of major local manufacturers, as the world's
second-largest economy is South Korea's biggest exports market.
"Investors have yet to shake their concerns about corporate
debt default and shadow banking" in China, said E-Trade
Investment analyst Choi Kwang-hyeok.
Foreigners were net sellers of local stocks on Wednesday,
and were on track for a third consecutive session of outflows.
Shares of steelmakers and chemical producers were broadly
lower as concern about China's economy continued to raise
worries about companies' performance. Lotte Chemical Corp.
was down 4.7 percent while Hyundai Steel Co.
was off 2.8 percent.
Worries about the global economic recovery also hurt
shipbuilders. Shares of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering
Co. were down 3.7 percent, while shares of Samsung
Heavy Industries Co. were 2.8 percent lower.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 649 to 138.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 1.3
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ was 1.2 percent lower.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)