February 12, 2016 / 2:49 AM / 2 years ago

S.Korea stocks fall amid global rout; won down

* Shares drop amid volatile trade; tension on the Peninsula
eyed
    * Won retreats as investors flock to safe-havens

    SEOUL, Feb 12 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell more than
1 percent on Friday as equity markets extended their slide on
worries over the health of the global economy.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 1.4 percent at 1,836.09 points as of 0228 GMT. Decliners
outnumbered advancers 75 to 10.    
    "Risk-averse investors are now seeking resilient stocks as
credit risk concerns battered banking shares in Europe," said
Kim Sung-hwan, a stock analyst at Bookook Securities.
    Kim said the KOSPI was not likely to find a bottom until it
fell to around 1,800 points.
    The sub-index for medical supplies led decliners
across the main bourse, plunging 8.7 percent.
    But auto shares jumped on hopes that the stronger yen would
take some competitive pressure off the sector and relieve
pressure on profit margins. 
    Hyundai Motor Co gained 4.6 percent, while its
affiliate Kia Motors Corp rose 6.2 percent.
    Daewoo International Corp shares jumped 12.8
percent after it discovered more gas in its Myanmar field.  
    Shares of several leading companies in the Kaesong
industrial zone plunged, with Romanson Co Ltd 
falling 8.8 percent.
    South Korea has cut power and water to the zone it jointly
runs with North Korea, hours after the North kicked out the
South's workers and froze the assets of companies operating
there as tensions rise after the NOrth's rocket launch on
Sunday.
    Defence shares, on the other hand, performed strongly, with
Victek Co Ltd and Speco advancing 23.7
percent and 22 percent, respectively. 
    Foreign investors weighed on the index, having sold a net
98.2 billion won ($81.44 million) worth of KOSPI shares on the
main bourse by mid-morning.
    The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.6
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ fell 6 percent lower.  
    The South Korean won edged lower, as foreign
investors sold local equities and bonds, while importer bought
the dollar on dips. 
    The won was quoted at 1,206.8 per dollar, down
0.4 percent compared with Thursday's close of 1,202.5.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06
points at 110.31. 
    
                       0228 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,206.8       1,202.5
 Yen/won            10.7467/584       10.6692
 *KTB futures            110.31        110.37
 KOSPI                 1,836.09      1,861.54
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Yeonsoo Kwak; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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