중앙데일리

Riding a weaker won, exporter shares rise

Mar 18,2008
Korean stocks fell to the lowest level in almost a year yesterday as foreign investors dumped large-cap shares, spooked by renewed concerns that a U.S. credit crisis could lead to a global economic slowdown, analysts said.
Volume was moderate at 286.8 million shares worth 5.2 trillion won ($5.1 billion), with losers outpacing gainers, 654 to 154.
“Last week’s setbacks in U.S. stocks seemed to spawn concerns over a credit crunch among investors here, with foreigners leading the massive sell-off,” said Park Seok-hyun, an analyst at Eugene Investment and Securities. “Though afternoon bargain-hunting helped trim an earlier decline of nearly 4 percent, uncertainties over the global economy remained a drag on market sentiment.”
Tech and auto shares, however, finished higher as investors expected the weak local currency could lead to brisker overseas sales for exporters. Tech titan Samsung Electronics inched up 0.55 percent to 550,000 won and car-making giant Hyundai Motor jumped 1.7 percent to 70,500 won.
On Friday, Wall Street ended sharply lower following news that Bear Stearns faced a near meltdown due to its exposure to subprime mortgage investment. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.6 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 2 percent.
Most blue chips posted big losses, with shipyard and machinery shares among the leading decliners. Top shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries plunged 4.6 percent to 319,500 won, while No. 1 power equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction fell 4.1 percent to 116,000 won.
Builders and financial stocks weighed on the market. Leading construction firm Daewoo Engineering and Construction shed 2 percent to close at 19,300 won, while smaller Hyundai Engineering and Construction was down 5 percent to 76,000 won. Top lender Kookmin Bank slipped 5.4 percent to 53,000 won. Yonhap


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