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Seoul shares slip 0.56 pct on profit-taking

South Korean stocks fell 0.56 percent Tuesday as investors opted to unload shares on profit-taking after recent rallies, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 11.24 points to 2,013.93. Trading volume was light at 254.2 million shares worth 3.48 trillion won ($3.27 billion) with decliners outstripping gainers 496 to 303.

Analysts said investors shifted their position to selling as the strong drive that led the market to rally in the past sessions has withered. Also they want to stay on the sidelines ahead of China's policy meeting slated for later this week, at which Beijing is expected to roll out a blueprint for its economic reform, they added.

"Foreigners are more inclined to selling, as they see no additional momentum to fuel the market, which will come as a short-term downside for the KOSPI," said Kim Hyung-ryeol, an analyst at Kyobo Securities Co.

Overseas investors sold off a net 48.9 billion won, with institutions dumping a net 139.7 billion won. But retail investors scooped up a net 197.2 billion won.

Most shares lost ground across the board, with machineries and foodmakers leading the decline. Doosan Infracore, a heavy equipment maker, plunged 8.3 percent to 13,250 won following media reports that it plans to issue global depositary receipts worth $400 million.

Orion Corp, a leading confectioner, dipped 2.13 percent to 1,009,000 won.

Top-cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.93 percent to 1,485,000 won, with Hyundai Motor sliding 1.41 percent to 244,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,061.20 won against the greenback, up 1.75 won from Monday's close, in line with the global trend of a weaker dollar, dealers said. (Yonhap News)