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S. Korean shares fall on China's growth data


16:28, April 15, 2013

SEOUL, April 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares fell for two straight sessions on Monday as downbeat growth data in China dented market expectations for the global economic recovery.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 3. 78 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,920.45. Trading volume stood at 327.65 million shares worth 4.22 trillion won (3.77 billion U.S. dollars).

China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth unexpectedly slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter after posting a 7.9 percent rise during the final quarter of 2012. The reading missed market estimates of around 8 percent, but stayed above the 7.5-percent full-year target for 2013 set by the Chinese government last month.

Foreign fund reduced their holdings of stocks by 121.7 billion won, keeping their selling streak for two straight sessions. Local institutions offloaded shares worth 61.6 billion won, while retail investors limited the further fall by purchasing a net 180.4 billion won worth of stocks.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.4 percent after falling in the prior session. Top wireless carrier SK Telecom advanced 3.2 percent ahead of the subscription sales of Samsung's new flagship smartphone model Galaxy S4 on Friday.

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, one of the country's major shipbuilders, rose at the daily permissible limit of 15 percent on growing expectations that the government would offer a financial support for local shipping firms and shipyards. Samsung Engineering, the local builder, climbed 4.2 percent, the first rebound in three sessions, ahead of the announcement of its first- quarter earnings results on Tuesday.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 2 percent amid lingering concerns over the prolonged trend of the weak yen. The nation's No. 1 carmaker Kia Motors slid 1.3 percent, and the country's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis retreated 2 percent.

The local currency finished at 1,120.5 won against the greenback, up 8.6 won from Friday's close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.01 percentage point to 2.66 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds fell 0.01 percentage point to 2.75 percent.

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