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Seoul: Shares extend losses, won weaker after China PMI data


[SEOUL] Seoul shares extended losses to a near two-week low by midday on Friday on concerns South Korea's exports to the largest export market may decline following lukewarm factory activity data from China.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 1.1 per cent at 2,042.95 as of 0238 GMT after falling to as low as 2,040.30, the lowest since July 13. Losers led gainers by 3.1 to 1.

"Investors were focused on the data as local industries such as chemical, steel, shipbuilding and cosmetics have large exposure to China," said Kang Hyun-gie, a stock analyst at Dongbu Securities.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd slipped 0.7 per cent to 1,225,000 won after touching a low of 1,224,000 won, the weakest in a week.

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Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd lost 4.4 per cent. Steelmaker POSCO was down 2.1 per cent.

Amorepacific Corp, a maker of cosmetic products popular with Chinese tourists, slipped 1.5 per cent.

Offshore investors were poised to turn net sellers for a sixth consecutive session, after selling a net 787.7 billion won (S$924.88 million) worth of KOSPI shares as of end-Thursday.

Meanwhile, the South Korean won erased early gains to turn weaker per dollar soon after private-sector data showed China's factory sector contracted by the most in 15 months in July.

The won was quoted at 1,165.7 per dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous close of 1,165.1. The local currency gained as much as 0.5 per cent.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds were up 0.07 points at 109.45 from the previous close of 109.38.