February 9, 2015 / 2:26 AM / 3 years ago

South Korean shares hit by weak China trade data; won lower

* Risk appetite dashed by dismal China trade data
    * Won falls on broad dollar strength after robust U.S. jobs

    By Joonhee Yu
    SEOUL, Feb 9 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell on Monday
as dismal trade data from China, South Korea's largest export
destination, depressed investor sentiment.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.29 percent at 1,949.85 points as of 0200 GMT, narrowing
the gap with the index's 60-day moving average of 1,940.90
    Data over the weekend showed China's exports fell 3.3
percent in January from a year ago while imports tumbled 19.9
percent over the same period, significantly short of analyst
forecasts and raising concerns of a deepening economic
    "The wave of currency devaluation and divergent economic
fortunes in the emerging market means that China can no longer
rely solely on exports to drive manufacturing growth as it did
in the past," said Samsung Securities in a note to clients.
    "With a week-long holiday (for Lunar New Year) this month
reducing the number of working days, the weak data trend looks
likely to continue... providing impetus for policymakers to
embark on more stimulus," Samsung Securities said.
    Automakers were among the biggest losers, as Hyundai Motor
 fell 2.8 percent while Kia Motors 
slumped 2.5 percent amid slowing sales growth both at home and
    Casino operators tumbled after a senior Chinese police
official said on Friday that the country will crack down on
attempts by foreign casinos to lure its citizens to gamble
    Grand Korea Leisure Co plunged 8.1 percent while
KOSDAQ-listed Paradise Co tumbled 6.4 percent.
    Offshore funds dumped a net 54.1 billion won ($49.4 million)
worth of KOSPI shares from their portfolios by late morning,
poised for a third-straight selling session.
    The South Korean won fell on Monday, pressured by
broad strength in the dollar after data showing robust U.S. jobs
growth bolstered the case for a mid-year rate hike by the
Federal Reserve.
    The local currency was fetching 1,095.5 on the
dollar as of 0200 GMT, compared to 1,089.7 quoted at the end of
Friday's session.
    The won fell to an intraday low of 1,099.5 earlier in the
session, but pared losses after an $1.1 billion export order by
S-Oil Corp spurred demand for the local
    Mach futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 8
basis points to trade at 108.68. 
                       0200 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,095.5       1,089.7
 Yen/won             9.2140/347        9.2034
 *KTB futures            108.68        108.76
 KOSPI                 1,949.85      1,955.52
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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