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Seoul shares down 0.6 pct in late morning trade

All News 11:36 January 29, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded 0.55 percent lower late Friday morning as investors locked in profits from recent gains amid concerns over corporate earnings and a global economic slowdown.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 10.58 points to 1,896.36 as of 11:20 a.m.

Foreigners went on a selling binge as their appetite for risky assets was dampened by weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings by major companies.

Protracted concerns over a global economic slowdown have also caused analysts to paint a grim picture over the companies' performances in the new year, further spooking investor sentiment.

While most blue chips were trading bearish, shares of Samsung affiliates were mainly attributable to the wobbling market.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics skidded 1.48 percent after it posted disappointing earnings in the October-December period.

Samsung SDS, the conglomerate's key IT unit, nosedived 13.22 percent, on news that Samsung Electronics' vice chairman, Lee Jay-yong, would sell a 2.05-percent stake in Samsung SDS for around 380 billion won to raise funds to purchase any unsubscribed shares of Samsung Engineering in the planned rights offering. Samsung Engineering spiked 14.86 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,205.6 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., up 2.9 won from Thursday's close.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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