(Updates to midday)
* Trade lacklustre as investors await FOMC minutes
* Auto shares fall on strike worries
* Hyundai Group shares rise on inter-Korean cooperation
SEOUL, Aug 19 South Korea shares edged lower on
Monday as shares in Hyundai Motor Co, the
second-largest company by market capitalisation, fell on a
possible walkout by unionised workers in South Korea.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.2 percent at 1,916.67 points as of 0200 GMT, climbing
back up from an intraday low 1,909.80.
Market indexes were also affected by caution on the minutes
of U.S. Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee's July meeting
that may reveal new clues on its tapering schedule, analysts
said. The minutes are due on Wednesday.
"The FOMC minutes will be the trigger for major movements in
the market," said KB Investment & Securities analyst Moon
Jeong-hee. "Before its release, the market will be stalled for
the most part."
Automaker Hyundai Motor Co fell 1.5 percent
after working-level wage talks between the labour union and
company soured on Sunday, raising fears of a prolonged strike.
Kia Motors Corp, Hyundai's affiliate, slid 1.1
Technology shares fell, with memory chipmaker SK Hynix Inc
down 1.2 percent and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
, the largest company by market capitalisation,
dipping 0.9 percent.
Energy storage system-related firms Samsung SDI
and POSCO ICT Co Ltd rose 3.9 percent and 6.3
percent after the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
announced a demand-side energy management policy on Sunday that
is likely to boost ESS sales.
Shares of Hyundai Group affiliates Hyundai Merchant Marine
Co and Hyundai Elevator Co Ltd rose 12.4
percent and 10.3 percent respectively on hopes that the
conglomerate's North Korea tourism project will resume after
North Korea accepted a South Korean offer to hold working-level
talks on restarting reunions for families separated by Korean
War on Sunday.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 404 to 343.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks slipped 0.2
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.3 percent
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Eric Meijer)