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Seoul shares slip on profit-taking, risk and currency moves
March 7, 2013 / 3:01 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares slip on profit-taking, risk and currency moves

* Softer yen, N.Korean risk drags down index

* Samsung Elec down 2 pct after recent gains

* LG Display up 2 pct on hopes for more sales to Apple

SEOUL, March 7 (Reuters) - Seoul shares were down on Thursday morning as blue-chip exporters such as Samsung Electronics came under pressure due to profit-taking, currency moves and geopolitical risk.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0.8 percent at 2,004.81 points as of 0235 GMT, off from near a two-month high in the previous session.

Koh Seung-hee, an analyst at SK Securities, said weighing on the index were the yen’s weakening against the dollar, signs of escalating North Korea risk and profit-taking after recent share gains.

The dollar eased 0.1 percent against the yen to 93.99 in early trading on Thursday. On Wednesday, it touched a one-week high above 94 yen.

A softer yen benefits Japanese exporters directly competing with South Korean firms.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council is set to vote on sanctions that would tighten financial restrictions on North Korea on Thursday, a day after South Korea’s military said it will strike back at North Korea if Pyongyang follows through on a threatened attack.

Samsung Electronics slid 2.1 percent while Hyundai Motor extended losses by falling 0.7 percent near mid-session. The two companies account for 21 percent of the KOSPI’s market capitalization.

However, shares in LG Display rose 2.9 percent on expectations that key Apple supplier Sharp’s new alliance with Samsung Electronics could mean an increase in LG Display’s sales to Apple.

Local institutional and foreign investors offloaded a net 85.3 billion won ($78.79 million) of KOSPI shares near mid-session, dragging down the index.

Declining shares outnumbered gainers 517 to 244.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.9 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ fell 0.7 percent. ($1 = 1082.6500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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