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Seoul: Shares retreat on global growth concerns, foreign selling; won down
[SEOUL] Seoul shares were set to end a four-day winning streak on Monday morning, tracking falls on Wall Street and in Europe, after the US Federal Reserve held interest rates steady in the face of slowing global economic growth.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 1.5 per cent at 1,965.26 points as of 0151 GMT, retreating from a 5-1/2-week high in the previous session. Losers notably outnumbered gainers 34 to 10.
Foreign selling also weighed on the main board, with overseas investors offloading a net 124 billion won (S$148.7 million) of the KOSPI shares. Foreigners were poised to end their three-day buying spree.
Lee Jae-hoon, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said emerging countries promptly rallied on Friday on relief as the Fed held rates steady.
Mr Lee noted "Between developed and emerging countries, there's difference of positions about a Fed's rate hike issue, which is more burdensome to emerging nations due to worries over offshore fund outflow. "Now, the market is more sensitive to concerns over global economic slowdown rather than the timing of the first rate hike (in almost a decade)." Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd lost 2.4 per cent. Market bellwether Hyundai Motor Co Ltd slipped 1.2 per cent. Steelmaker Posco shed 2.9 per cent. Semiconductor chipmaker SK Hynix Inc fell 2.5 per cent.
On the currency market, the South Korean won was set to snap a three-day gaining streak against the dollar, reflecting a rise in the greenback, and as investors avoided riskier assets.
The won was down 0.8 per cent at 1,172.3 per dollar. On Friday, it touched a session high of 1,161.5, the strongest since Aug 11.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds were up 0.09 points at 109.74.