Unstable news sends Kospi downward

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Unstable news sends Kospi downward

Korean shares had an unstable day due to the U.S. Fed meeting, which signaled that it may reduce its stimulus earlier than planned, and China’s lower-than-expected consumer index. Foreigners joined institutional investors in net-selling, while retail investors were net buyers.

The benchmark Kospi slipped 0.64 percent to close at 1,930.57.

Samsung Electronics slightly dropped 0.31 percent to 1,286,000 won ($1,199.40), while LG Electronics dropped 1.62 percent to 60,700 won. SK Hynix also inched down 0.89 percent to 38,800 won.

Hyundai Motor was down 1.55 percent to 222,000 won and Kia Motors also dropped 1.69 percent to 52,300 won. Hyundai Mobis inched up 0.82 percent to 307,500 won.

Naver, the nation’s largest Web portal, plunged 8.13 percent to 689,000 won following news reports yesterday that Facebook announced it would acquire the mobile messenger developer WhatsApp. The purchase is seen as a possible obstacle to the international expansion of Naver’s own messenger service Line. The huge drop pushed Naver from sixth in market capitalization to seventh.

Meanwhile, Taihan Electric Wire, the nation’s second-largest cable maker, shot up 14.88 percent to 2,200 won as the company’s creditor Hana Bank started looking for bidders for the company.

Doosan Heavy Industries jumped 5.29 percent to 35,800 won after it succeeded in obtaining a long-term contract on Wednesday to manage 14 nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom until 2030.

GS E&C also climbed 3.89 percent to 36,050 won after receiving orders to construct an oil refinery in Iraq in a consortium with Hyundai E&C.

The won dropped 0.6 percent to 1,072.30 per dollar in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 1,073.77 earlier in the day, the weakest level since Feb. 11. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose 34 basis points to 7.43 percent.

“The Fed minutes drove the dollar-won exchange rate to above the 1,070 level as market opened,” said Yu Won-jun, a currency dealer at Korea Exchange Bank.

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

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