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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, led by a slump for Samsung Electronics following brokerage downgrades of Intel that sparked a sell-off of U.S. technology firms overnight.

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

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest memory-chip maker, closed down 3.4 percent, the biggest percentage fall since a one-day plunge of nearly 7.5 percent after 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's tech stocks. SK Hynix , the second biggest maker of memory chips, lost 2.3 percent.

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

Shares of Intel, the world's largest maker of semiconductor chips, lost 2.7 percent overnight after negative reports by at least two brokerages. Robert W. Baird & Co cut its price target on Intel stock, citing weak demand for notebooks.

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

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

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

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

Decliners outnumbered gainers 596 to 226. The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 1.7 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 1.2 percent lower. 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)(Reuters Messaging: somang.yang.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS KOREA STOCKS/