Jobs data does little to perk up market

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Jobs data does little to perk up market

Korean shares experienced another day of slump despite the enhanced local unemployment index.

The benchmark Kospi recovered over the 2,000 point intraday but ended up falling below the mark due to foreigners who expanded selling. Local institutional and retail investors were net buyers.

The index fell by 0.78 percent to close at 1,977.97.

Korea’s November unemployment rate fell to an unprecedented 2.9 percent yesterday. The country’s major economic indicators, including production, consumption and investment, have improved while the job market and inflation are stable, the Finance Ministry said in a monthly report on Tuesday.

“The economic recovery is on track,” Jung Kyung-hee, a fixed-income strategist at Shinhan Investment, wrote in a research note yesterday. “We’re paying more attention to growth and employment than inflation. Investors are waiting for Bank of Korea’s economic assessment after the rate decision.”

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 1.39 percent to 1.42 million won ($1,349). LG Electronics rose 1.04 percent to 68,300 won after the company released the first tablet PC, the G Pad, featuring the latest Android operating system. SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest chip maker, was also up 0.82 percent to 36,800 won.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, the nation’s two largest automakers, both inched up 0.22 percent to 229,000 won and 0.72 percent to 56,300 won, respectively, while their auto parts arm, Hyundai Mobis, slipped 1.19 percent to 290,000 won.

KT, the nation’s second largest mobile carrier, climbed 2 percent to 30,550 won, while SK Telecom, the largest player, stayed unchanged at 228,000 won. Both companies said they will receive reservations for iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display starting today.

Naver, the nation’s largest search engine, rose 1.13 percent to 717,000 won.

Doosan Heavy Industries fell 3.04 percent to 33,500 won after news reports that the company will sell Treasury stocks of about 318 billion won.

The won closed little changed at 1,052.13 per dollar, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

BY KIM JI-YOON, BLOOMBERG [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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