* Samsung Elec down 1.3 pct despite record earnings
* Mass futures order could add volatility before options
By Joyce Lee
SEOUL, Jan 8 South Korean shares fell on Tuesday
as what appeared to be an unprecedented technical glitch and
caution before corporate earnings results suppressed investor
appetite - even as Samsung Electronics issued a
record profit estimate.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed
down 0.66 percent at 1,997.94 points, losing ground for the
fourth session to shave off nearly all of last week's
"The index is declining steadily after recent rapid gains.
Investors also refrained from making aggressive bets as the
fallout from the mistaken KOSPI 200 futures order remains
unclear before options expiry date (on Thursday)," said Lim
Soo-gyun, an analyst at Samsung Securities.
What appeared to be a technical glitch resulted in a 30
percent increase in KOSPI 200 futures orders on Monday compared
to the previous session.
Local newspaper Chosun Ilbo and other media reported an
unprecedented 15.6 trillion won worth of mistaken buy orders
were made on behalf of an unidentified Hong Kong investor on
Monday, of which 2.6 trillion won worth remain unsold and could
cause increased volatility in the index.
Blue chip stocks were mostly down. Samsung, which accounted
for 17.4 percent of the index as of Tuesday, fell 1.3 percent
despite announcing an estimated fourth-quarter operating profit
of $8.3 billion on strong smartphone sales and increasing demand
for its flat screens for mobile devices.
But shares in CJ Korea Express, South Korea's
largest logistics firm, rose 5.1 percent after it announced it
will merge with affiliate logistics firm CJ GLS on April 1.
STX Pan Ocean also rose 3.3 percent after the
shipper announced it bought a new a bulk vessel, to be called
the STX Horizon.
STX Pan Ocean's share price has jumped more than 60 percent
in four weeks since largest shareholder STX Corp and
affiliates put a roughly 35 percent stake of the shipper on the
Local institutional investors sold a net 118.9 billion
Korean won ($111.75 million) worth of KOSPI shares, weighing on
the main board.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 430 to 370. The KOSPI 200
benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.8 percent, while
the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent higher.
Move on day -0.66 percent
12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012
12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012
Change on yr -1.6 percent
All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981
($1 = 1064.0000 Korean won)
(Additional reporting by Seongwon Chang and Somang Yang;
Editing by Eric Meijer)