* China PMI data fuels concerns about pace of economic
* Doosan E&C tumbles on rights issue speculation
By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL, Feb 1 South Korean shares extended falls
on Friday after choppy trade, weighed down by China factory data
that signalled the rebound in the world's second-biggest economy
is shallower than hoped.
Foreign investors continued to dump stocks for a seventh
consecutive session, offseting buying by institutional and
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)
finished down 0.2 percent at 1,957.59 points.
Two separate versions of China's purchasing managers' index
(PMI) showed on Friday that factory output in the world's
second-biggest economy rose in January, but the pace of the
revival in activity was uneven.
"The latest China data weakened expectations about the pace
of its economic recovery," said Park Sung-hoon, an analyst at
Woori Investment & Securities.
"But the downside will be limited for the domestic stock
market, which is attractive in terms of valuations, after having
underperformed the U.S. and other markets," he said.
Auto shares continued to gain as the South Korean won hit
its lowest levels in over three months against the dollar on
Friday. Hyundai Motor rose 0.7 percent and Kia
Motors climbed 0.6 percent.
Hyundai joined Kia Motors in reporting double-digit sales
growth for January after the closing bell.
Builders slipped after speculation that Doosan Engineering &
Construction may issue new shares re-ignited jitters
about the sluggish housing market. The builder was asked by the
bourse operator to clarify market rumours by 0900 GMT.
Doosan Engineering & Construction dived 11 percent, while
its top shareholder Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction
slumped 8.1 percent.
Defensive, domestic-focused stocks defied market falls, with
Korea Electric Power firming 2.6 percent and Korea
Gas up 0.2 percent.
Among heavyweights, Samsung Electronics declined
0.5 percent, while POSCO gained 1 percent.
Move on day -0.21 percent
12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012
12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012
Change on yr -1.97 percent
All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Seong-won
Chang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Eric Meijer)