중앙데일리

U.S. markets sneeze, Kospi catches cold

Mar 08,2008
Korean stocks closed nearly 2 percent lower yesterday as overnight Wall Street losses sparked a selling spree among institutions and foreign investors here, analysts said. The benchmark Kospi tumbled 33.47 points, or 1.97 percent, to 1,663.97.
“The key index ended sharply lower on weakened investor sentiment from steep U.S. losses in the previous session,” said Kim Young-gak, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
Wall street fell Thursday as concerns over an ailing credit market and a spike in home foreclosures fanned worries of an economic depression. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.8 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 2.3 percent.
Tech and steel shares weighed down on the market. Samsung Electronics lost 2.1 percent to finish at 550,000 won ($574), and Posco fell 1.9 percent. Hwang Chang-gyu, president of Samsung’s semiconductor division, and Kim Jong-kap, chief executive officer of Hynix, told reporters recently that an industry recovery from a glut and falling prices will be “difficult” to achieve in the first half.
Insurers and brokerages led yesterday’s losses. Samsung Fire and Marine plunged 3.7 percent, and Samsung Securities fell 2.8 percent.
Telecom stocks were also down. Leading mobile carrier SK Telecom fell 4 percent, and smaller rival KTF lost 1.4 percent.
Hyundai Heavy Industries lost 2.8 percent, and Doosan Heavy Industry shed 3.7 percent. Hyundai Heavy said in a regulatory filing yesterday it will build eight 180,000-ton bulk carriers for a European customer for $800 million.
Financial shares were weak. Kookmin Bank slid 1.6 percent, Shinhan Financial Holdings dropped 1.6 percent and Woori Financial Holdings fell 2.1 percent.
Volume was moderate at 298.6 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won, with losers outpacing gainers 576 to 213. Yonhap, Bloomberg


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