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South Korea June business outlook index slips to ten-month low

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean manufacturing companies' assessment of their business conditions for the coming month eased for a fourth month to its lowest in 10 months, a central bank survey showed on Friday.

The Bank of Korea's manufacturing business outlook index for June stood at a seasonally adjusted 77, compared with a reading of 79 for May. It was the lowest the index has been since August 2013.

Of the contributors for the central bank's survey, small-to medium-sized companies' sentiment fell the most, dropping 8 points to 76 for June's business conditions from 84 for May.

The index falling below 100 indicates companies expecting business conditions to deteriorate in the coming month outnumber those predicting improvement.

The index has remained below 100 since March 2011.

Weak domestic demand continued to be the biggest concern for manufacturers in their future business, the survey said, while exchange rates moved up the list to be the second largest hurdle for manufacturers.

The Korean won has gained more than 3 percent against the dollar this year, with government authorities warning of action against speculation on one-sided movement in the market. A firmer exchange rate could hurt local exporters as shipments become less competitive in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The data comes just a few hours ahead of industrial output data for April, which is expected to show a second straight monthly gain but at a modest pace.

(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140529/south-korea-june-business-outlook-index-slips-ten-month-low