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(LEAD) Seoul shares fall 0.5 pct on tech, steel shares
SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks declined 0.5 percent Tuesday, led by losses in tech and steelmakers, analysts said. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

   The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 9.6 points to close at 1,906,62. Trading volume was light at 286.3 million shares worth 3.32 trillion won (US$2.97 billion) with decliners outnumbering gainers 473 to 312.

   "A slew of upbeat economic indexes here and abroad since last week drove up the KOSPI. But this week's been and will likely be quiet as there is no fresh momentum to fuel the market," said Son Wie-chang, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

   Foreigners sold off a net 164.5 billion won on the main bourse, snapping their 11th-day buying streak, while retail and institutional investors scooped up a combined net 165.9 billion won.

   Steelmakers and food companies led the KOSPI's fall. POSCO shed 1.06 percent to 325,500 won, and Orion, a local confectionery maker, tumbled 3.31 percent to 965,000 won.

   Blue-chips finished the session mixed. Samsung Electronics dipped 1.57 percent to 1,254,000 won, while Hyundai Motor gained 0.87 percent to 232,500 won.

   A sluggish IT sector will likely continue for some time through the second half of this year due to weaker global demand, Son added.

   The local currency ended at 1,115.50 won against the greenback, down 1.7 won from Monday's close, as foreigners opted to unload their holdings of local shares, dealers said.

   Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed flat. The yield on three-year Treasuries stayed unchanged at 2.92 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds held steady at 3.20 percent.

   elly@yna.co.kr
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