Financials, shipbuilders end 4-day run by Kospi

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Financials, shipbuilders end 4-day run by Kospi

Korea’s main stock index lost for the first time in five trading sessions yesterday, as retail and institutional investors unloaded financial and shipbuilding shares.
The Kospi fell 2.29 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,426.29.
“Foreign buying was not enough to sustain the market when retail and institutional investors sold their holdings for profit taking,” said Kim Hak-gyun, an analyst at Korea Investment and Securities.
The market seemed to be undergoing a short-term correction after rising more than 60 points over the past four trading days, driven by massive foreign investment, Mr. Kim added.
Blue chips struggled. Samsung Electronics slipped 0.2 percent to 586,000 won ($628). Another major tech share, Hynix Semiconductor, lost 0.6 percent. LG Electronics climbed 3.2 percent amid expectations that it could be selected as a supplier of next-generation mobile phones to global communications service carriers.
Financial shares were roughed up. Top lender Kookmin Bank fell 1.1 percent and Korea’s No. 3 financial services company, Woori Finance Holdings, lost 1 percent despite improved earnings for last year. Woori posted record earnings in 2006 on the back of increased commissions and interest income, with profit exceeding 2 trillion won.
Most shipbuilders closed in negative territory. Industry leader Hyundai Heavy Industries shed 3 percent and rival Samsung Heavy Industries fell 1.7 percent.
Traded volume was 188.7 million shares worth 2.8 trillion won. Advancers beat decliners 384 to 358.
The secondary Kosdaq gained 4.34 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 600.56. It marked the first time the Kosdaq closed above the 600-point barrier since Jan. 16.
Traded volume was 608.9 million shares worth 1.8 trillion won. Advancers squeezed past decliners 458 to 447.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Writer []
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