Seoul shares drop 1 pct after U.S. earnings disappoint
* Builders underperformg
* LG Elec falls after five days of gains
SEOUL Oct 22 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell 1 percent on Monday, with investors locking in profits after results from General Electric and McDonald's added to a weak U.S. earnings season.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 1.1 percent lower to 1,923.75 points as of 0158 GMT, but managed to pare losses after falling to around 1,910, its lowest point in a week.
But the index is still around 10 percent higher than lows hit in late July.
"Profit-taking is overshadowing buying because any forward momentum has been exhausted," Oh Tae-dong, an analyst at Taurus Securities, wrote in a note to investors, adding that he expects the index to hover around current levels for the time being.
Oh said gains in the stock market over the past two months has been based on anticipation of, rather than on any real progress in macro-economic fundamentals, citing hopes that Spain will ask for international aid as one example.
Weak U.S. earnings have added to pessimism for domestic earnings. Steelmaker POSCO and Hyundai Motor will release third-quarter earnings this week.
On Monday, South Korean builders underperformed, losing 2.7 percent, while energy providers also struggled, with refiner SK Innovation declining 2.4 percent.
Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics was down 0.6 percent. Rival electronics maker LG Electronics, which is set to release earnings on Wednesday, was trading 0.3 percent lower, after closing higher for five straight sessions.
Declining shares outnumbered advancers, 559 to 221.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 1.2 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.2 percent lower. (Reporting by Somang Yang; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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