Blue chip sales leave market below 1,700Korean stocks experienced a sharp fall yesterday due to rising crude oil prices and a drop in U.S. stocks. The benchmark Kospi slipped 32.61 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,687.91.
Crude oil prices finished at around $100 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday (U.S. time) as concern grew that production would not meet increasing demand.
“Institutions and foreign investors went on a blue-chip selling spree amid overnight U.S. stock losses from heightened crude oil prices,” said Lee Kyung-soo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.
Blue chips fell with Samsung Electronics, the nation’s No. 1 blue chip by market value, going down 1.5 percent to 578,000 won ($611.52). Posco, Asia’s biggest steelmaker by market value lost 2.5 percent. Chip giant Hynix sank 3.5 percent.
Financial shares suffered heavy losses. Hana Financial Group continued its fall from Tuesday with a 4.6 percent loss on a report that it may have to pay more than 1 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in back taxes and penalties for evading taxes when its Hana Bank unit bought Seoul Bank in 2002. Kookmin Bank, Korea’s top lender, sank 2.7 percent, and Shinhan Financial Group lost 2.3 percent.
Shipbuilders and steel companies lost as well, with industry leaders Hyundai Heavy and Posco falling 2.9 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.
Amid the downward plunge, SK Telecom, Korea’s leading mobile phone operator, and Hanarotelecom, the nation’s No. 2 broadband service provider, rose 0.5 percent and 5.6, respectively.
Trade volume was 316.8 million shares valued at 4.9 trillion won. Losers outnumbered winners, 596 to 210.
The secondary Kosdaq fell 7.99 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 652.76. Trade volume was 511.4 million shares worth 1.7 trillion won.
By Cho Jae-eun Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]