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South Korea: Stocks slammed by US tech share tumble; Fed meeting awaited


[SEOUL] South Korea's leading electronics stocks skidded on Monday after a slide in US technology shares, pulling the benchmark index lower.

LG Display tumbled 4.2 per cent, while Samsung Electronics fell as much as 2.1 per cent and SK Hynix dropped 2.6 per cent.

The sub-index for electric and electronics recoiled nearly 2 per cent.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.8 per cent at 2,362.06 points as of 0205 GMT.

"A big slide in US technology sector is taking a toll on South Korea's market heavyweight shares like Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, putting huge pressure on overall stock markets,"said Bae Sung Young, a stock analyst at KB Securities.

US tech shares fell on Friday on worries about the power of Apple's upcoming iPhones and a cautious Goldman Sachs report about tech stocks.

Offshore investors were poised to be net sellers, offloading 155.7 billion Korean won (S$191.5 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Mr Bae said investors were also cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy decision on Wednesday. With an interest rate hike widely expected, markets are looking for clues on its plans for further tightening in coming months and how it plans to reduce its massive balance sheet.

Decliners far outnumbered advancers 554 to 249.

The South Korean won also edged lower due to cautious trading ahead of US central bank meeting.

The won was quoted at 1,125.4 to the dollar, down 0.2 per cent compared to Friday's close of 1,123.2.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.13 point to 109.53 as Bank of Korea's chief said may need to adjust the pace of monetary policy easing in case of clear signs of improvement.