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Stocks sink following rise in U.S. jobless rate

Jan 08,2008
Seoul’s stock markets plunged yesterday, pummeled by heavy losses in the U.S. stock market following the worst jobless statistics in two years.
The benchmark Kospi skidded 32.76 points, or 1.8 percent, to close at 1.831.14. On Saturday, local time, the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2 percent and the Nasdaq slid 3.8 percent, its largest fall in 11 months.
The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5 percent in December, the highest level since November 2005, Labor Department data showed on Friday.
Samsung Electronics, Korea’s largest exporter, slid 3.7 percent to close at 519,000 won ($552). Other blue chip shares also bled heavily. Posco lost 3.2 percent and SK Telecom dropped 3.5 percent.
Hyundai Motor, which sells more than one-third of its cars overseas in the United States, lost 2.7 percent.
Trading volume was 262.6 million shares, worth 5.2 trillion won. Decliners beat advancers, 589 to 223.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq lost 7.48 points, or 1 percent, to close at 711.77.
Megastudy, Korea’s largest provider of online study aids for teenagers, rose 3.4 percent, continuing six straight days of gains on high anticipation that the nation’s private study aid market will boom under the new administration.
President-elect Lee Myung-bak has repeatedly said he would allow local colleges to set up their own admission formula with no government intervention, which has often forced the colleges to focus on applicants’ school GPAs rather than essay writing and other tests created by each college.
Megabox’s industry rivals, Edubox and Digital Daesung, both soared by the daily limit of 15 percent. Woongjin Thinkbig also surged by 6.5 percent.
Trading volume was 430.5 million shares, worth 1.7 trillion won. Losers outpaced gainers, 660 to 290.


By Jung Ha-won Staff Reporter [hawon@joongang.co.kr]



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