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Market closes under 1,900 amid U.S. woes

Nov 20,2007
Korea’s benchmark Kospi plunged 32.73 points, or 1.7 percent, to close at 1,893.47. The index finished below 1,900 points for the first time in two months due to sell-offs by foreign investors amid mounting concerns over the U.S. economy. The markets in China, Japan and Hong Kong all declined along with the Kospi.
The Kosdaq index lost 4.5 points, or 0.6 percent and closed at 750.79. About 289 million shares valued at 5 trillion won ($5.4 billion) changed hands on the Korea stock exchange, 28 percent less than the three-month daily average of 7 trillion won.
“Global equity markets are still sensitive to worries about China’s tightening policies and a slowdown in the U.S.,” said Seo Jung-ho, an analyst at UBS Hana Asset Management. “Nothing much has changed in the overall environment and concerns are lingering.”
Posco, Asia’s third-largest steel maker by output, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s biggest shipbuilder, led the declines on concern China may raise interest rates to cool economic growth. Posco slid 1.9 percent and Hyundai Heavy dropped 4.5 percent.
Samsung Electronics, Korea’s largest exporter, fell 2.9 percent. Hyundai Steel fell 0.9 percent, and Dongkuk Steel Mill, the third largest, dropped 1.9 percent. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the world’s third-largest shipbuilder, slid 2.3 percent.
Elsewhere, KT, the nation’s largest telecommunications company, led telecommunications companies lower as some investors bet recent advances had outpaced earnings prospects. KT dropped 2.5 percent.
Mirae Asset led brokerages higher on speculation industry consolidation may speed up after the nation’s financial regulator on Nov. 16 announced plans to license its first new securities firms in five years as early as May 2008. Mirae Asset, the nation’s largest brokerage by market value, rose 6 percent.
Bloomberg


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