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S.Korea shares subdued as weak exports data weigh, won edges lower
September 1, 2014 / 3:06 AM / 3 years ago

S.Korea shares subdued as weak exports data weigh, won edges lower

* KOSPI treads water as dip in exports place investors on
    * Won eases against the dollar as month-end demand

    By Joonhee Yu
    SEOUL, Sept 1 (Reuters) - South Korean shares were sluggish
in morning trade, with investors keeping to the sidelines after
data showed another month of tepid exports growth for the
trade-reliant economy. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.02 percent at 2,068.08 points as of 0220 GMT.
    Exports by trade powerhouse South Korea fell slightly in
August, official data showed on Monday, missing market
expectations and underscoring the still-fragile economic
recovery as global demand remains weak. 
    "Although the slight drop in exports can be partially
attributed to fewer working days, we are definitely seeing some
slack in the pace of recovery compared to the second quarter,"
said Park Hee-chan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.
    Fading expectations that the European Central Bank would
take immediate stimulus measures during this week's policy
meeting also dampened the mood.
    "The ECB may still be leaning towards further easing, but we
don't expect to see any significant action until we approach the
end of the year rather than now" said Yoon Young-kyo, an analyst
at IBK Investment & Securities.
    The KOSPI drifted 0.37 percent lower in August to snap a
three-month winning streak on lingering worries over the global
economic outlook. 
    Telecom stocks, a traditional defensive play resilient to 
economic cycles, rallied in an otherwise quiet market with SK
Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile service
provider, gaining 2.4 percent.
    Shares in Samsung Engineering jumped 8 percent
while Samsung Heavy Industries soared 5.7 percent
after the two Samsung Group affiliates announced a merger worth
2.5 trillion won ($2.47 billion). 
    The South Korean won ticked slightly lower against
the dollar on Monday on a broadly firmer U.S. dollar thanks to
positive U.S economic data.
    The local currency was quoted at 1,014.5 to the
dollar as of 0220 GMT.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds was
unchanged at 107.02. 
                       0220 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,014.5       1,014.0
 Yen/won             9.7361/399        9.7420
 *KTB futures            107.02        107.02
 KOSPI                 2,068.08      2,068.54
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting By Joonhee Yu; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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