Seoul shares ease from 3-week high but earnings lend support

Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:07am BST

Quotes

   

* Kia Motors snaps positive on Q1 relief

* Hyundai Mobis falls more than 5 percent

* Samsung Elec slides despite Q1 profit

* Foreigners sell for 11th session

By Somang Yang

SEOUL, April 26 (Reuters) - South Korean shares eased on Friday as investors took profits on a rally driven by better-than-expected earnings results that took the benchmark index to a three-week high a day earlier.

Market paricipants said market sentiment remained positive, however, with Kia Motors lending support after the automaker reported better-than-forecast earnings and said it expects this quarter to be stronger.

"The market is generally seen heading up, but there's a little resistance at this level. That could be broken by better data out of China and the United States next week," Kim Yong-gu, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.4 percent at 1,944.56 points but gained 2 percent on the week.

Foreign investors sold a net 118 billion won ($106.09 million) worth of KOSPI shares, an eleventh straight day of selling, spurred by weakness in the yen that makes rival Japanese exporters more competitive and a slower growth outlook for South Korea's economy compared to other emerging markets.

Decliners included auto parts supplier Hyundai Mobis which shed 5 percent after its quarterly operating profit slid 11.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slipped 0.5 percent despite posting a sixth quarter of profit growth.

Overall, 428 shares advanced while 369 declined.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 1 percent higher.

Move on day -0.36 percent

12-month high 2,031.10 2 January 2013

12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012

Change on yr -2.63 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1112.2250 Korean won) (Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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