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Seoul: Shares skid over 2% as housing curbs knock construction firms; techs slide


[SEOUL] South Korean shares tumbled more than 2 per cent on Thursday as tech stocks retreated after the previous day's Apple-led rally, while construction firms suffered a punishing sell-off after the government announced fresh curbs to cool the housing market.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 2.1 per cent at 2,377.16 points as of 0218 GMT, after touching its lowest intraday level since July 7.

Foreign investors were mainly selling off tech shares, pushing the sub-index for electric and electronics shares down 3.4 per cent.

Apple Inc's strong earnings buoyed domestic tech stocks on Wednesday, on hopes the iPhone maker's fortunes will boost their own sales.

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Local institutions sold construction shares, with that sub-index down 4.5 per cent, its biggest intraday drop since November 2016.

South Korea said on Wednesday it will raise capital gains taxes on owners of multiple homes and impose fresh mortgage curbs, while increasing tax on leading conglomerates to seek higher revenue to fund rising welfare costs.

Dongbu Corp tumbled as much as 12.4 per cent, GS Engineering & Construction lost up to 5.5 per cent and Hyundai Engineering & Construction was as much as 4.7 per cent lower.