August 29, 2017 / 1:47 AM / a month ago

S.Korea stocks fall, won sags on North Korea tensions

    * KOSPI drops more than 1 pct soon after opening
    * Absence of market momentum makes investors react more
sensitively -analyst
    * Will monitor and act according to contingency plans -fin
min

    SEOUL, Aug 29 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell to a more
than one-week low early on Tuesday and the won slumped after
North Korea fired a missile that flew over the northern region
of Japan, escalating tensions on the Korean
peninsula.            
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 1 percent at 2,347.63 points as of 0118 GMT, while the won
           stood at 1,127.0 against the dollar, down 0.6 percent
from Monday's close.
    South Korea's finance ministry said it will monitor
financial markets and act to stabilise markets if needed after
Pyongyang's latest missile test, which led to a fresh bout of
risk-aversion.             
    "All sectors are tumbling, which clearly shows that North
Korea risks are the reasons behind it," said Cho Byung-hyun, a
stock analyst at Yuanta Securities.
    Cho said market players were showing a stronger reaction
than usual to the North Korean missile test, given the latest
bout of U.S.-North Korea tensions has only just eased off and
there was little other news to drive momentum.
    "(But) in the case of Samsung Electronics, continued foreign
worries about a leadership vacuum seem to be putting more
pressure on the shares," he added.
    Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, who was given
five-year jail term for bribing ousted President Park Geun-hye,
filed an appeal on Monday.             
    Samsung Electronics             fell 1.7 percent. The
sub-index for electric and electronics         dropped 1.5
percent.
    Shares of defense-related firms showed gains. Firstec
            rose nearly 2 percent while Victek             hiked
11 percent. 
    Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading
120.5 billion Korean won ($106.90 million) worth of KOSPI shares
near mid-session, weighing on the index. 
    Decliners far outnumbered advancers 609 to 191.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds         shed
0.04 point to 109.22. 
    
                       0118 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,127.0       1,120.1
 Yen/won             10.3548/22       10.2267
 *KTB futures            109.22        109.26
 KOSPI                 2,347.63      2,370.30
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
    

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Richard Pullin)
  

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