Steel makers fall after brokerage downgradeThe Kospi index dropped 25.10 points, or 1.4 percent, closing at 1,834.69. Posco led steel makers and other metal producers lower after Goldman Sachs cut its recommendation on the industry, citing slowing demand for commodities.
“The global economy will slow down, and commodity-related stocks, which were the biggest gainers up to this point, will be hit accordingly,” said Kim Jun-yon, who oversees $1 billion at Yurie Asset Management in Seoul. “We think it will be hard for commodity prices to rise.”
Posco, the world’s fourth-biggest steel maker, dropped 2.4 percent. Hyundai Steel, the second-largest in South Korea, retreated 4.4 percent.
Goldman downgraded metals producers yesterday to “neutral,” from “attractive,” in a report by analysts led by U.S.-based Anthony Carpet.
Dongkuk Steel Mill, South Korea’s third-largest maker of the alloy, slid 4.2 percent. Korea Zinc, the world’s second-largest zinc smelter, lost 3.3 percent.
SK Energy, South Korea’s largest oil refiner, slipped 7.3 percent. Crude oil declined 3.4 percent to $94.42 a barrel yesterday in New York. It dropped further to $93.86 in after-hours trading.
GS Holdings, which operates the nation’s second-biggest oil refiner, lost 3.5 percent. S-Oil, the third-largest, fell 1.6 percent.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s second-largest mobile-phone maker, climbed 0.9 percent to 544,000 won ($585.88). The company said it expects to ship more than 200 million handsets in 2008, from 160 million units this year.
Korea Electric Power, which supplies almost all the power in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, climbed 0.3 percent. The company said it plans to buy a stake in a foreign power distributor and aims to earn more than $100 million in sales from overseas projects by 2015.
The Kosdaq retreated 2 points, or 0.3 percent to 723.54.