* Won, shares slide to multi-week lows after U.S. missile
* Samsung Elec forecasts best Q1 profit in 3 yrs
* Investors' cautious mood weighs on KOSPI
SEOUL, April 7 The South Korean won and
shares quickly dropped to more than three-week intraday lows
early on Friday following the news that the United States
launched cruise missile strikes on an airbase in Syria, which
sparked risk-off sentiment globally.
The won was quoted at 1,137.3 to the dollar as of
0220 GMT, down 0.4 percent versus Thursday's close of 1,133.2.
The local currency, after opening at 1,131.0, fell as much
as 0.8 percent from the opening level to 1,140.0, the lowest
intraday level since March 15.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.4 percent at 2,143.54 points, the weakest since March 16.
South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's
forecast its best March-quarter profit in more than
three years on the back of a memory chip super-cycle, but the
company shares dropped more than 1 percent on eager
"It has long been predicted that Samsung Elec would mark an
earnings surprise for the first-quarter, and now the investors
are selling the shares for profit," said Kim Ji-hyung, a stock
analyst at Hanyang Securities.
Kim added that the KOSPI as a whole will not move much until
mid-April on cautious market sentiment during a meeting of U.S.
and Chinese leaders and the pending release of the U.S.
Treasury's biannual exchange rate report.
Offshore investors were set to mark a fifth straight selling
session, offloading 58 billion won ($51.07 million) worth of
KOSPI shares near mid-session.
Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp
each fell 2 percent and 1 percent on their plan to recall tens
of thousands of vehicles in South Korea and an "unidentified
number" in the United States due to engine issues.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.05
point to 109.34.
0220 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,137.3 1,133.2
Yen/won 10.3082/56 10.1984
*KTB futures 109.34 109.39
KOSPI 2,143.54 2,152.75
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)