(Updates to midday)
* Financial shares fall on pessimistic earnings outlook
* Automakers rise on foreign buying
SEOUL, Aug 28 Seoul shares fell Wednesday
morning as investors shifted towards safe-haven assets on
anxiety about a possible U.S. military strike against Syria, yet
continued foreign inflows limited losses.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.6 percent at 1,874.47 points at 0202 GMT.
"The market is wobbling because of escalated tension in
Syria, but the loss was capped due to firm economic
fundamentals," said Tong Yang Securities market analyst Lee
However, Lee said concerns remain as weak starts from
emerging markets such as India and Indonesia could unnerve
foreign investors and trigger capital outflows.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 35.1 billion won
($31.44 million) of local shares on Wednesday morning.
Memory chipmaker SK Hynix Inc dropped 1.3
percent, while panel maker LG Display Co Ltd dropped
1.0 percent. Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
fell 0.5 percent.
Finance shares were generally weaker due to pessimism about
their earnings outlooks. Woori Finance Holdings Co Ltd
fell 2.8 percent, while Shinhan Financial Group Co
Ltd and Hana Financial Group Inc
declined 2.0 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Automakers Hyundai Motor Co advanced 1.5 percent
and affiliate Kia Motors Corp 1.6 percent as
foreigners saw them as cheaper than Japanese competitors.
Crude refiners S-Oil Corp and GS Holdings
rose 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, on
hopes of improved earnings as Brent crude prices rose 7
percent to a six-month high of $115.44 a barrel.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 570 to 190.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks slipped 0.4
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ declined 1.1 percent.
($1 = 1116.3250 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Richard Borsuk)