중앙데일리

Local markets finish week on down note

Dec 08,2007
Korean stocks fell for the first time in four days yesterday. The Kospi index slid 18.85 points, or 1 percent, to close at 1,934.32, paring its gain this week to 1.5 percent. The Kosdaq lost 3.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 747.65.
SK Telecom, Korea’s No. 1 mobile-phone operator, dropped 4.9 percent to 253,000 won ($275), after Daishin Securities said the company’s average dividend payout ratio will fall. KTF, the second largest, slid 2.5 percent.
“I don’t think telecommunications have new, strong momentum or growth expectations,” said Park Seh-ick, who helps manage $6 billion at Hanwha Investment Trust Management in Seoul. “I think it’s a very good time to take profit in the telecommunications sector.”
SK Telecom has climbed 28 percent in the past month through Thursday, while KTF has risen 12 percent.
Shinsegae, which runs Korea’s biggest discount-store chain, lost 6.9 percent, its steepest decline since Aug. 10. Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the shares to “neutral” from “buy” due to such factors as the stock’s “less appealing valuation after its recent share price run” and more competition in the domestic discount-store market, analysts at the brokerage, including Paul Hwang, wrote yesterday.
Shinhan Financial, the country’s second-biggest bank, added 6.2 percent. Posco, Asia’s No. 3 steel maker, advanced 0.5 percent. LG Electronics, Korea’s No.2 exporter, climbed 0.5 percent.
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday to the highest level in a month, led by financial companies and builders, after President George W. Bush announced an interest-rate freeze for subprime mortgages, saying the U.S. economy is “strong enough to weather this storm” in the housing market. The United States is Korea’s third-largest export market.
Meanwhile, Korea refrained from raising its key interest rate from a six-year high of 5 percent as the U.S. housing slump and record oil prices threaten to cool economic growth. Bloomberg


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