January 26, 2016 / 2:28 AM / 2 years ago

S.Korea shares slip on earnings concerns, crude; won down

* Shares skid, wary of Q4 earnings and outlook
    * Won falls on oil descent, foreign stock selling
    * Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics Q4 earnings due later in the
day

    By Yeonsoo Kwak
    SEOUL, Jan 26 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell sharply
on Tuesday morning, hit by a slide in energy and tech stocks as
investors braced for weaker fourth-quarter earnings and a
challenging outlook. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 1.4 percent at 1,867.43 points as of 0148 GMT. Declining
issues outnumbered advancing ones by 3 to 1.  
    "Investors' confidence was hit as underperforming energy and
tech shares weighed on the main board," said Bae Sung-young, a
stock analyst at Hyundai Securities.
    Bae said that slowing growth in China, South Korea's largest
trading partner, and sliding crude oil raised concerns about
major exporters' earnings prospects. A handful of fourth quarter
results released so far showed pressure on sales and margins. 
    Investors are also bracing for earnings from Hyundai Motor
Co and LG Electronics Inc later in the
day
    On Tuesday, data showed South Korea's economic growth more
than halved to 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2015 as a
decline in construction investment hobbled the ongoing recovery.
 
    Shares in chipmaker SK Hynix Co Ltd rose 1.8
percent as earnings met market expectations. The company said
earlier on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit dropped
41 percent from a year earlier on weaker global chip demand.
 
    Shares in Samsung SDI Co Ltd, battery-making arm
of Samsung Group, plunged 11.7 percent after
announcing a fourth-quarter operating loss of 80.8 billion won
($67.31 million) , compared to an operating profit of 37.2
billion won a year earlier. 
    Foreign investors were poised to be net sellers for a 14th
session, offloading a net 143.7 billion won ($119.59 million)
worth of shares by midday.
    The South Korean won were lower, tracking broad
declines in equities and regional currencies. 
    The local currency was quoted at 1,201.9 to the
dollar, down 0.6 percent compared with Monday's onshore close of
1,194.2.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 
0.04 points at 109.78.
    
                       0148 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,201.9       1,194.2
 Yen/won            10.1668/780       10.1319
 *KTB futures            109.78        109.74
 KOSPI                 1,867.43      1,893.43
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Yeonsoo Kwak; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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