June 24, 2013 / 7:17 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares slump to 11-mth closing low on China worries

* KOSPI only 2.3 percent above pre-QE3 lows

* Foreign investors sell for a 12th session

* Techs weigh, defensive sector plays in food, beverage shine

SEOUL, June 24 (Reuters) - Seoul shares fell for a fourth straight session on Monday to an 11-month closing low as investors fretted over China’s economy and global financial market instability.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) finished down 1.3 percent at 1,799.01 points, ending at its lowest level since late July last year.

“The spectre of China’s economic slowdown and stimulus reduction in the U.S. has unnerved investors,” said Kim Young-il, a market analyst at Daishin Securities.

“Shares are cheap at current levels but this does not mean much to investors anymore, not when we are seeing a free-fall in regional markets like China,” Kim added.

Chang Hee-jong, a market analyst at Daewoo Securities, noted that the market was close to erasing all of the gains scored as it anticipated a third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve last year.

“The market could fall to the lows seen before QE3,” Chang said.

The KOSPI is only 2.3 percent above the low of 1,758.99 points hit on July 25, 2012, before a bounce fuelled by expectations of economic stimulus measures by the Fed, which were implemented later in the year.

Foreign investors were sellers of a net 220.8 billion Korean won ($191.63 million) worth of stocks, offloading shares for a 12th consecutive session, their longest selling streak in three months.

The market’s key technology heavyweights led the fall move, with LG Display Co Ltd shedding 4.3 percent and SK Hynix Inc down 3.4 percent.

The telecommunications sector, which had sharply outperformed the broader market, was hit by profit-taking.

SK Telecom Co, which had gained 39 percent so far this year as of Friday’s close, finished down 5 percent and LG Uplus Corp, which had jumped 63.5 percent this year, declined 12 percent.

But defensive sector plays in food and beverages outperformed. Hite Jinro Co Ltd, a beer and liquor producer, rose 5.4 percent and snack maker Lotte Confectionary Co Ltd, a snack maker, gained 2 percent.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks fell 1.3 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ declined 2.4 percent lower.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 616 to 203.

Move on day -1.31 percent

12-month high 2,042.48 3 January 2013

12-month low 1,758.99 25 July 2012

Change on yr -9.9 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1152.2500 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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