중앙데일리

Market sputters through 6th day of losses

July 04,2008
Korean stocks fell around 1 percent yesterday as investors remained concerned over surging oil prices and their adverse impact on the economy, analysts said.

The local currency dropped against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 17.06 points, or 1.05 percent to 1,606.54, marking a six-session losing steak. Volume was moderate at 347.05 million shares worth 5.7 trillion won ($5.45 billion), with losers outpacing gainers, 597 to 201.

“Investor sentiment was dented by oil price hikes, the possibility of stagflation and recent setbacks in U.S. markets,” said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

“The downtrend also seemed to be accelerating as retail investors joined institutions and foreigners in dumping shares after they were disappointed with recent downswings,” he added.

A foreign sell-off also weighed on the market, analysts said. Foreigners had sold more than they bought for the 19th consecutive day, dumping over 5 trillion won worth of shares during the period.

Most blue chips posted marked losses, with steel, shipyard and transportation shares leading the market plunge.

Steelmaking giant Posco plunged 6.3 percent and smaller Hyundai Steel fell 3.6 percent. Top shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries also lost 3.1 percent on massive foreign selling.

Top flag carrier Korean Air Lines plummeted 4.2 percent, and smaller Asiana Airlines dived 4.5 percent.

Auto shares performed poorly, ending a recent period of brisk trading amid concerns that ongoing labor disputes could incur production losses. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 4.5 percent and its affiliate Kia Motors lost 2.6 percent.

Tech exporters, however, were among the few climbers as investors expected their business outlooks to improve. Asia’s largest mobile phone and computer chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics inched up 0.5 percent, while smaller rival Hynix Semiconductor surged 5.5 percent.

On Wednesday, the price of Dubai crude hit a fresh record of $136.73 per barrel. Korea’s benchmark crude price has nearly doubled over the past year.

Yonhap



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