Stock market sinks to a three-month low

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Stock market sinks to a three-month low

Korean stocks slipped to their lowest close in three months yesterday as the market extended its losing streak to four straight days on speculation the Federal Reserve could begin trimming its stimulus as soon as next week.

The local currency traded lower against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi closed 0.26 percent lower, sliding 5.02 points to 1,962.91, the lowest close since Sept. 6. Trading volume was low at 221.4 million shares worth 3.33 trillion won ($3.16 billion), with 424 losers and 362 gainers.

Foreign investors net sold 269.4 billion won worth of shares, whose net selling for the week totaled 1.1 trillion won. Meanwhile, retail investors bought 98 billion won worth of shares, and institutional investors scooped up 186.8 billion won.

By industry, large caps fell and midsize and small caps rose. Medical devices showed the highest gain of 4.19 percent, while utilities rose 1.52 percent and nonmetallic minerals added 0.83 percent.

Shipbuilders fell the most with Hyundai Heavy Industries losing 3.4 percent and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering sinking 2.8 percent. Construction fell 1.74 percent and electronics closed 0.95 percent lower.

Most of the market cap stocks showed gains despite Samsung Electronics losing 1.42 percent and Naver 1.54 percent. Korea Electric Power Corporation added 1.42 percent and Samsung Life edged up 0.94 percent.

Korean bonds rose yesterday as foreign players stepped up their buying hours before the market closed, spurring investors to cover short positions, which raised prices further. The won edged lower, snapping a seven-day streak of gain.

The local currency was quoted at 1,052.6 against the dollar at the end of onshore trading, compared with Thursday’s domestic close of 1,051.

“There was a stream of dollar sales from engineering and electronics makers and shipbuilders this week, and there seems to be more to come,” said Han Sung-min, a Seoul-based currency dealer at Busan Bank. “Upward pressure on the won will remain, although the market is on the lookout for intervention.”


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