Credit worries damp post-election marketDespite widespread expectations, a Lee Myung-bak stock rally did not materialize in Korea yesterday after Lee was elected as the nation’s 10th president. The main Kospi fell 17.1 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 1,844.37.
“After a strong start in the aftermath of the presidential election, the key index trimmed gains as foreigners extended their selling spree for the eighth consecutive session and institutions waited on the sidelines amid a persistent global credit crunch,” said Kim Young-gak, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
Market leader Samsung Electronics lost 0.2 percent to 559,000 won ($635), and top steel maker Posco retreated 2.3 percent. Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped 1.7 percent. Top lender Kookmin Bank remained unchanged.
Samsung’s market value surpassed Posco’s for the first time in almost three months yesterday, regaining its top post on the Kospi.
Among IT shares, SK Telecom climbed 2.1 percent. LG.Philips LCD fell 1.9 percent, and LG Electronics slid 2.4 percent.
Woori Financial Group jumped 6.7 percent as hopes soared that the Korean government would sell its portion of the bank. Currently Korea Deposit Insurance, a state-owned deposit insurer, holds a 73.3 percent stake, while the remainder is in the hands of foreign and minor shareholders.
Airlines gained ground on the government’s decision to increase fuel surcharges on overseas routes starting next year. Korean Air rose 0.7 percent, and Asiana Airlines climbed 0.6 percent.
Traded volume was 391.3 million shares worth 5.7 trillion won, with decliners overwhelming advancers, 527 to 263.
The junior Kosdaq shed 8.8 points, or 1.2 percent, to end at 700.69. Traded volume totaled 450.7 million worth 1.7 trillion won, with losing shares beating winners, 607 to 342.
By Seo Ji-eun Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]