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South Korean shares fall on growth worries, earnings pessimism

* Trading subdued on worries about Q3 earnings

* Builders hit by pessimism on global slowdown

* POSCO sags on discount block sale by SK Telecom

* KOGAS rallies on Iraq pipeline contract

SEOUL, Oct 8 (Reuters) - South Korean shares fell on Monday on concerns about cooling Asian growth and deteriorating company earnings.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed

0.7 percent lower at 1,981.89 points, closing below the 2,000 point mark for the eighth straight session.

"External events, including the uncertainty about Spain, are weighing on the index. However, the real move will come from the (upcoming) Q3 earnings reports," said Song Sang-hoon, an analyst at Kyobo Securities.

Other Asian stocks, along with European futures, also weakened. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan

fell 1 percent.

Earlier on Monday, the World Bank cut its growth outlook for East Asia, citing particular concern about a prolonged slowdown in China.

Shipbuilders fared worse than most, with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries , slumping 2.8 percent and 2.5 percent.

Shares in POSCO also slid down 1.9 percent following news that SK Telecom Co Ltd had sold a 1.43 percent stake in the steelmaker at a discount of 3.26 percent to POSCO's Friday closing price before the stock market opened on Monday.

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) was among the few winners, closing up 4.3 percent after its secured a $127 million contract to build a pipeline in Iraq.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 534 to 302.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.7 percent, while the KOSPI 200 futures for December also dipped down 0.7 percent for the fourth session.

Move on day -0.67 percent 12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012 12-month low 1,769.31 25 July 2012 Change on yr +8.55 percent All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011 All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981

(Reporting By Somang Yang; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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

Keywords: MARKETS KOREA STOCKS/