Kospi dips below 2,000 as investors take a rest

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Kospi dips below 2,000 as investors take a rest

Seoul stock markets slumped yesterday as investors sought breathing room after the giddy flight of local stock markets, and foreign investors cashed in on profits. The benchmark Kospi slid 40.68 points, or 2 percent, to 1,963.54, below the previous day’s first-ever 2,000 points.
Samsung Electronics, Korea’s largest listed firm by value, tumbled 3.4 percent to 626,000 won ($682), and Posco declined 4.4 percent. Other blue chip shares struggled as well. Kookmin Bank, Korea’s largest financial firm, inched down 0.2 percent, while the No. 2 Shinhan Financial Group lost 2 percent. The third-largest player, Woori Finance Holdings, also shed 0.6 percent.
But Hyundai Motor Company climbed 2.1 percent on high anticipation over its second-quarter profit. After market close yesterday, the company reported a second-quarter operating profit and net income that leaped 40 percent and more than 50 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
SK Telecom also gained 0.7 percent on lingering speculation the firm plans to acquire U.S. wireless operator Sprint Nextel. The company officially denied the rumor yesterday.
Dongbu Securities rose by a daily limit of 15 percent after the Fidelity Fund increased its holdings in the stockbroker from 5.3 percent to 6.5 percent, fanning speculation of a possible merger. KT&G, Korea’s only tobacco manufacturer, rose 2.1 percent a day after the company posted solid second-quarter earnings, with its net profit up nearly 30 percent from a year earlier.
Trading volume was 602.8 million shares, worth 8.8 trillion won. Losers outpaced gainers, 506 to 295.
The tech-laced Kosdaq inched down 2.32 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 817.28. Trading volume was 559.6 million shares, worth 2 trillion won. Decliners led advancers, 550 to 387.

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