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U.S. Woes Stagger Seoul Stock Market

July 10,2001
Share prices in Seoul tumbled to a 11-week low Monday, dragged down by losses in key semiconductor stocks. The U.S. Nasdaq dropped 3.7 percent over the weekend amid profit warnings by high-technology companies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 18.54 points, or 3.2 percent, to 560, off the day's low of 555.66. Trading volume remained thin at 250.5 million shares valued at 1.4 trillion won ($1.1 billion).

Decliners overwhelmed gainers 772 to 72, with 17 other stocks unchanged. Thirty stocks plunged by the daily limit of 15 percent, while fourteen issues jumped by that limit.

"Sentiment cooled down rapidly due to the Nasdaq's slide and the weakening Japanese yen," said an analyst at Daishin Securities Co. A weaker yen hurts the price competitiveness of Korean exports.

Foreign investors went on a selling spree to drive down the index, unloading shares worth 181.1 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks ended lower. Samsung Electronics Co. plummeted 6.8 percent to 171,000 won, nearing its record low for the year of 167,500 won. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. sagged 11 percent to an all-time low of 2,055 won.

Pohang Iron & Steel Corp. rose 1 percent to 102,500 won, after the United States lowered the dumping margin on Korean stainless steel exports.

The Kosdaq market fell for the fourth straight session on foreign selling. Its composite index shed 3.96 points, or 5.3 percent, to 70.12 on volume of 287 million shares worth 1.2 trillion won.

KT Freetel slid 4.2 percent to 34,600 won, while LG TeleCom added 2.8 percent to 6,540 won.



by Kim Hyun-chul




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