* KOSPI weaker in line with regional markets
* Samsung SDI declines after Tesla, Panasonic strengthen ties
* Struggling Hanjinkal drags down Korean Air
SEOUL, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Seoul shares eased off a 27-month closing high early on Thursday, as sentiment chilled after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy outlook and investors awaited key surveys later this week.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 0.6 percent to 2,046.63 points by 0205 GMT after hitting 2,059.58 in the previous session, a 27-month closing high.
“Extended liquidity raised questions about the condition of the world’s largest economy...investors are locking in gains before a slew of data reinforces a slowdown in recovery,” said Hanyang Securities analyst Lim Dong-rak, referring to expected soft U.S. data from the effects of a 16-day partial government shutdown.
“Investors acknowledge more liquidity without firming economic fundamentals will take the market no where.”
The U.S. central bank kept its $85 billion-a-month stimulus plan intact but did not sound quite as alarmed about the state of the economy as some had anticipated, dragging down Wall Street from its recent rally.
Investors are cautiously awaiting global indicators such as U.S. and China manufacturing surveys for October, both due on Friday. South Korea’s October manufacturing sector survey alongside preliminary export growth and trade balance data are also due on the same day.
Foreign investors added pressure on the market by offloading 90.4 billion won ($85.26 million) of local shares in the morning, enhancing chances their record net buying streak will end at 44 sessions.
However, the flow of foreign capital has fluctuated, leaving room for inflows by session end.
Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd fell 3.1 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, with the sub-index soaring 28.7 percent since July.
Samsung SDI Co Ltd fell 3.7 percent after electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc said it would sharply increase the number of lithium ion cells it receives from Panasonic Corp, Samsung SDI’s oversea competitor.
Korean Air Line Co Ltd plunged 9.1 percent after deciding to provide a loan of 150 billion won for its struggling affiliate Hanjinkal, raising risks over its financial structure. Hanjinkal fell 7.9 percent.