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Seoul shares close 1.64 pct lower on weak yen

South Korean stocks closed 1.64 percent lower Wednesday as the Japanese currency resumed its downtrend against the greenback, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 30.36 points, or 1.64 percent, to close at 1,824.66. Trading volume was moderate at 399.8 million shares worth 3.65 trillion won (US$3.19 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 633 to 195.   

Analysts said the decline came as the yen-dollar exchange rates breached the 100 yen mark to the greenback on Tuesday in the New York market for the first time in a month, which sparked concerns over local exporters' earnings.
A relatively stronger won inflicts foreign exchange losses on local exporters, making South Korean goods more expensive overseas and damaging firms that compete with Japanese firms.
"Investors also took a wait-and-see stance as the eurozone monetary policy meeting, the announcement of Samsung Electronics' second-quarter estimate and the release of U.S. jobs data are slated this week," said Kwak Byung-ryeol, an analyst at Eugene Securities Co.
Foreigners dumped more shares than they bought at 275.6 billion won. In contrast, individuals scooped up a net 271.6 billion won and institutional investors purchased a net 2.6 billion won.   

Tech blue chips led the decline, with leading Samsung Electronics falling 2.55 percent to 1,301,000 won and its rival LG Electronics losing 3.82 percent to 70,500 won. Flat panel maker LG Display lost 1.48 percent to 26,650 won.
Builders closed bearish, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction falling 2.46 percent to 55,400 won and Daewoo Engineering & Construction losing 3.32 percent to 6,990 won. Top steelmaker POSCO shed 1.84 percent to 294,000 won.   

Logistics firms closed lower, with Hyundai Glovis decreasing 0.27 percent to 187,500 won and CJ Korea Express losing 3.45 percent to 98,000 won. Top air carrier Korean Air moved down 2.13 percent to 29,800 won.
Carmakers also lost ground on the weak yen, with Hyundai Motor losing 0.23 percent to 215,000 won and Kia Motors falling 1.36 percent. Top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 1.15 percent to 259,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,143.70 won against the U.S.
dollar, down 9.70 won from the previous trading session as the
greenback gathered ground in the global market amid the rising
political unrest in Egypt, dealers said. (Yonhap News)