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S.Korea stocks down on profit-taking, won eases on Iraq tension
June 25, 2014 / 3:01 AM / 3 years ago

S.Korea stocks down on profit-taking, won eases on Iraq tension

* Stocks modestly lower as investors consolidate gains
    * Dongbu Group units plummet on POSCO decision not to buy
    * Won slips on broad aversion to risk

    SEOUL, June 25 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell on
Wednesday morning as some investors booked gains following the
previous session's solid rise, while the won eased on
dollar demand by importers.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.5 percent at 1,983.61 points at 0240 GMT. On Tuesday, the
index gained 1 percent, its best day since June 10.
    Wednesday's decline is a typical response following a sharp
rise," LIG Investment & Securities market analyst Oh Tae-dong
said, noting persisting worries over April-June earnings and
rising tension in Iraq as secondary factors.
    Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co Ltd,
the most active stock in the morning, fell 1.6 percent,
surrendering nearly all of Tuesday's 1.7 percent gain.
    LIG's Oh said the index will likely have limited near-term
movement as investors keep pricing in low expectations for
second quarter earnings.
    POSCO, the world's sixth-biggest steelmaker,
gained 1.7 percent after withdrawing its plan of purchasing
cash-strapped conglomerate Dongbu Group's two units on Tuesday,
citing financial burdens and differences over asset prices.
    Daewoo International, the trade and resources
arm of POSCO, rose 3.7 percent after the steelmaker' s chief
executive said there were no plans to sell any of its
controlling stake in the company. 
    Units of Dongbu Group tumbled. Dongbu HiTek Co Ltd
, Dongbu Corp, Dongbu Steel Co Ltd
 and Dongbu CNI Co Ltd plummeted between
11 to 14 percent.
    In the currency market, the won eased against the
dollar as importers including crude oil refiners' demand on the
greenback while unrest in Iraq dampened appetite for emerging
currencies.
    "Importers are being more active than exporters," said a
currency dealer at a domestic bank.  However, he said
dollar-short flows were absent near the 1,021 level and further
losses appeared unlikely in the session. 
    The local currency was quoted at 1,020.6 versus
the dollar as of 0240 GMT, down 0.2 percent from Tuesday's
onshore close at 1,018.4.
                       0240 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,020.6       1,018.4
 Yen/won           10.0206/128        9.9823
 *KTB futures           106.42        106.36
 KOSPI                1,983.61      1,994.35
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang and Yena Park; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)

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