중앙데일리

Machinery, construction take the latest hits

July 02,2008
Korean stocks closed lower for a fourth day on Tuesday as investors dumped machinery and construction shares on mounting concerns over domestic demand and the global economy, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 8.46 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,666.46, the lowest level in more than three months. Volume was thin at 271.8 million shares worth 4.2 trillion won ($4.0 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 550 to 258.

“The market opened higher but turned negative as investors remained concerned over a series of gloomy economic data including surging inflation,” said Lee Sun-yup, an analyst at Goodmorning Shinhan Securities. “Skyrocketing oil prices also dragged down the market, clouding the outlook for the global economy.”

Machinery and energy-sensitive airline shares led the pullbacks. Top power equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction plunged 5.4 percent to 93,700 won on media reports that Doosan Group’s attempt to acquire a brokerage firm failed to obtain approval due to its past involvement in improper business practices.

The nation’s leading carrier, Korean Air Lines, lost 2.4 percent to 48,000 won on concerns that skyrocketing crude prices could drive up its overall operating costs. Smaller Asiana Airlines slipped 1.5 percent to 5,420 won.

Major construction shares added to the market’s gloom as investors are worried that spiraling consumer price data could force the nation’s central bank to raise its key interest rate. The consumer price index hit a 10-year high of 5.5 percent in June, according to government data.

Top builder Daewoo Engineering and Construction fell 1.9 percent to 15,500 won, while Hyundai Engineering and Construction shed 1.6 percent to close at 68,400 won.

Automakers, however, closed up after major car manufacturers announced data on brisk first-half vehicle sales. Industry leader Hyundai Motor jumped 4.1 percent to 73,900 won and its affiliate Kia Motors gained 4.5 percent to 11,550 won. The local currency closed at 1,046.9 won against the dollar, down 0.9 won from Monday’s close, as foreign investors cut their local stock holdings, dealers said. Yonhap



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