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Shares in South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are down following a report that the companies have cut China output amid tensions over Seoul’s deployment of a US anti-ballistic missile system.

Seoul-listed stock in Hyundai was down as much as 2.9 per cent on Tuesday, while Kia Motors shares were down as much as 1.1 per cent.

The drops follow a report from Reuters that cites unnamed sources as saying both companies have cut production shifts at their China factories in the face of local competition and escalating tensions between Beijing and Seoul over deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile shield.

South Korean officials argue that Thaad is essential to their country’s defence, particularly after North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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