Seoul shares down 3.1 pct following Kim Jong-il's death

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Seoul shares down 3.1 pct following Kim Jong-il's death


South Korean stocks traded 3.1 percent lower Monday afternoon as investors offloaded shares following the news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 57.04 points to 1,782.92 as of 1:25 p.m.

Shares lost ground across the board, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling nearly 3 percent and top refiner SK Innovation dropping around 5 percent.

The North's Korean Central News Agency said in an urgent dispatch at noon that its leader "passed away from a great mental and physical strain" during a train ride at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The local currency also tumbled, changing hands at 1,177.25 won against the greenback as of 1:25 p.m., down 18.65 won from Friday's close. [Yonhap]
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