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S.Korea stocks at over 3-wk low on China worries; won steady
March 6, 2017 / 2:55 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea stocks at over 3-wk low on China worries; won steady

    * China pressure on S.Korean companies likely to continue
    * N.Korea's missile launch shrugged off by the markets

    SEOUL, March 6 (Reuters) - South Korean shares edged down to
more than a three-week intraday low early on Monday as retailers
and travel agencies ran into trouble in China over Seoul's
decision to deploy a  U.S. missile defence system.         
    South Korea's Lotte Group, the country's fifth largest 
conglomerate, said on Monday four of its retail stores in China
were closed after inspections by authorities, dragging shares of
Lotte Shopping             down by 4 percent in early trade,
before a recovery brought the share back to stand just under 1
percent down as mid-session approached.             
    The firm's difficulties in China came after affiliate Lotte
International Co Ltd approved a South Korean land swap last week
to allow the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
system, which is being installed in response to North Korea's
missile threat.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 0.1 percent at 2,077.35 points as of 0239 GMT. The index
reached as low as 2,067.68, its weakest since February 9. 
    Jeong Dong-hyu, a stock analyst at Shinyoung Securities said
that growing tension between Seoul and Beijing will take a toll
on South Korean shares equities unless the issue is resolved.
    "There are two scenarios. Either completing the deployment
or the next administration nullifying the whole process," added
    North Korea fired four ballistic missiles early in the
session, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic
zone, but had little impact on the markets.             
    South Korea's finance ministry also said in a statement that
the missile launch had no significant effect on stocks and
currency markets.
    Some of defence-related company shares rose. Firstec
            was up nearly 1 percent, while Korea Aerospace
            rose 1.6 percent. 
    Offshore investors were set to be small net buyers of KOSPI
shares near mid-session. 
    Decliners outnumbered advancers 509 to 297.
    The South Korean won            was steady, standing at
1,155.3 to the dollar, up 0.1 percent compared to Friday's close
of 1,156.1.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds         shed 0.01
point to 109.40. 
                       0239 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,155.3       1,156.1
 Yen/won             10.1419/04       10.0965
 *KTB futures            109.40        109.41
 KOSPI                 2,077.35      2,078.75
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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