Wires

Samsung Elec sends Seoul shares lower after U.S. tech sell-off

* Tech/semiconductors retreat, mirroring U.S. sector

* Samsung Elec falls most since U.S. court ruling in August

* SK Hynix slides after peer Intel's downgrade

By Somang Yang

SEOUL, Oct 10 (Reuters) - South Korean shares retreated, ledby a slump for Samsung Electronics followingbrokerage downgrades of Intel that sparked a sell-offof U.S. technology firms overnight.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)dropped 1.6 percent on Wednesday to 1,948.22 points, its lowestclose since Sept. 11. the Kospi has fallen every day this week.

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the world's biggestmemory-chip maker, closed down 3.4 percent, the biggestpercentage fall since a one-day plunge of nearly 7.5 percentafter a California court in August ruled in favour of Apple Inc

in a patent row.

Wednesday's slide spawned a broad decline in the Kospi'stech stocks. SK Hynix , the second biggest maker ofmemory chips, lost 2.3 percent.

"Worries about global demand hit Samsung shares today afterfalls in U.S. technology shares," Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NHInvestment & Securities.

Shares of Intel, the world's largest maker of semiconductorchips, lost 2.7 percent overnight after negative reports by atleast two brokerages. Robert W. Baird & Co cut its price targeton Intel stock, citing weak demand for notebooks.

The news triggered selling of large-cap U.S. technologyshares, including Apple and Microsoft .

This pattern was repeated in Asia, with the tech sub-index

declining 1.4 percent to be the biggest drag onthe MSCI Asia ex-Japan index.

In Seoul, Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO)shares ended 2.8 percent lower after Korea Deposit InsuranceCorp's (KDIC) sale of about $550 million worth of shares.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 596 to 226. The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down1.7 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 1.2 percentlower. Move on day -1.56 percent 12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012 12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011 Change on yr +6.7 percent All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011 All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981(Editing by Richard Borsuk)

((somang.yang@thomsonreuters.com)(+82 2 3704 5643)(ReutersMessaging: somang.yang.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS KOREA STOCKS/