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Triple-witching day tough on the Kospi

Dec 14,2007
Korea’s main stock market fell 11.55 points, or 0.6 percent, yesterday to close at 1,915.90 after a day-long roller-coaster ride. At one point, the index fell below the 1,900-mark barrier but massive buying by individual investors pulled it back up.
“The market moved narrowly in early trading but turned sharply lower in the afternoon as uncertainty on the triple-witching day triggered institutions and foreign investors to sell,” Kang Hyun-cheol, an analyst at Woori Investment and Securities, said.
“Triple witching” is the simultaneous expiration of stock index futures, stock index options and individual stock options, which usually results in price swings.
Most of the nation’s top-10 listed firms by market value dropped. Samsung Electronics, the nation’s No. 1 blue chip, went down 1.3 percent to 590,000 won ($638). Posco, Korea’s largest steel maker, slid 2.1 percent. Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipyard, was down 1.4 percent.
SK Telecom, which only needs regulatory approval to close a deal to become the biggest shareholder of Hanarotelecom, the nation’s No. 2 broadband operator, fell 1.1 percent, and KTF, the No. 2 wireless operator, lost 5.9 percent. However, LG Telecom, the smallest wireless operator, gained 1 percent.
But banking shares did well. Top lender Kookmin Bank added 0.4 percent. Shinhan Financial Group and Hana Financial Group advanced 2.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Construction-related shares also had a good day on high expectations of a new real estate policy. Hyundai Engineering and Construction added 3.2 percent, Samho International gained 10.2 percent and Dongbu picked up 7.5 percent.
Trading volume was 322.4 million shares, worth 7 trillion won.
The Kosdaq climbed 4.2 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 733.68. Trading volume was 530.1 million shares, worth 1.6 trillion won.


By Sung So-young Staff Reporter [so@joongang.co.kr]


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