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[SEOUL] South Korean shares fell for a fourth straight session on Friday, weighed down by losses on Wall Street and a plunge in steelmakers after media reports that the United States will slap tariffs on the country's steel.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean of an unprecedented scale, but the comments had little immediate impact on South Korean markets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.4 per cent at 2,395.60 points as of 0221 GMT.
The South Korean won edged down 0.2 per cent from Thursday's close of 1,132.7 against the US dollar and stood at 1,135.1.
"The Kospi today is mostly influenced by a dip in Wall Street overnight rather than what is going on with North Korea issues," said Kim Sung Hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.
Foreign investors also seemed quite immune to Friday's fresh sabre-rattling from North Korea as they sold a relatively small net 5 billion won (S$5.95 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.
Huge losses in local steelmakers took a toll on the benchmark stock index.
Shares of Posco fell more than 4 per cent and the sub-index for iron, steel and metal was down as much as 3.7 per cent following media reports that the United States said it would impose tariffs on South Korean steel.
Decliners far outnumbered advancers 672 to 155.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 109.00.