March 2, 2018 / 2:57 AM / 3 months ago

REFILE-S.Korea stocks skid to three-week low on US trade worries, won steady

 (Corrects typographical error in the 6th paragraph)
    * KOSPI falls more than 1.5 pct
    * Steel shares are hammered by Trump's tariff plans
    * Markets worry trade pact could be re-negotiated-analyst

    SEOUL, March 2 (Reuters) - South Korean shares slipped to a
three-week intraday low on Friday as President Donald Trump's
plan to slap heavy tariffs on steel products hit materials
stocks and sparked deeper fears about a worsening global trade
rift.
    Trump said on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on
imported steel and aluminium to protect U.S. producers, a move
that would risk retaliation from major trade partners.
            
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 1.6 percent at 2,389.41 points as of 0225 GMT, its lowest
intraday level since Feb. 12.
    Market heavyweight steelmaker Posco             fell more
than 3.7 percent to hit a four-week low in its early trade,
while Hyundai Steel             and Dongkuk Steel            
each lost nearly 3 percent.
    Seoul has already launched a wide-ranging complaint at the
World Trade Organization to challenge the U.S. use of
anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties, which is already affecting
South Korea's steel products, citing their use on steel and
transformers, a WTO filing showed last month.
    The country's trade ministry said it is talking to the
United States about its steel exports. South Korea is the
third-largest steel exporter to the United States after Canada
and Brazil.             
    "What's more worrisome is that this issue could be extended
to re-negotiation of Free Trade Agreement between South Korea
and the United States, which is why auto shares and some tech
shares have also taken a hit today," said Seo Sang-young, a
stock analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
    Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor             slumped
4.3 percent. Tech giant Samsung Electronics             traded
down 2.2 percent.
    Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, unloading
58.1 billion Korean won ($53.66 million) worth of KOSPI shares
near mid-session.
    Decliners far outnumbered advancers 681 to 161.
    The South Korean won        managed to hold steady despite
anxieties over trade with the United States as the greenback
lost ground in the global markets.
    The won            was quoted at 1,082.4 to the dollar, down
barely changed from its previous close at 1,082.8.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds         gained
0.05 points to 107.79. 
    
                       0225 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,082.4       1,082.8
 Yen/won             10.2094/52       10.1819
 *KTB futures            107.79        107.74
 KOSPI                 2,389.41      2,427.36
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

For a round up of market news, please see our daily Asia Morning
Call report            

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
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