Kospi finishes lower on Wall Street losses

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Kospi finishes lower on Wall Street losses

A triple witching day yesterday did not spell doom for Seoul stock markets, but Wall Street’s overnight losses sent the Kospi down 43.21 points, or 2.6 percent, to close at 1,615.62.
A triple witching day refers to the simultaneous expiration of stock index futures, stock index options and individual options, which usually ends up producing price swings. Both foreign and institutional investors continued a selling spree, while individual investors opened their wallets to buy shares when prices fell.
“The Federal Reserve’s plan to pump $200 billion into the financial market to help ease the credit crisis strains is a quick fix, so it will not improve the U.S. economy [in the long run]. The Seoul stock market is likely to fluctuate for a while along with an unstable U.S. economy,” Cho Jae-hoon, a researcher at Daewoo Securities, said.
Most sectors fell, led by metals, machinery and transportation.
The nation’s top 10 listed firms all dropped as well.
Samsung Electronics, the nation’s No. 1 blue chip by market value, fell 1.8 percent to 550,000 won ($561). Posco, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker, slid 6.2 percent, and Hyundai Heavy Industries also went down 5 percent. Kookmin Bank, the nation’s top lender, lost 1 percent, and other lenders such as Shinhan Financial Holdings, Woori Financial Group and Hana Financial Group declined 3.5 percent, 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.
LG Display, the former LG.Philips LCD, plummeted 8.8 percent after LG’s Netherlands-based partner Royal Philips Electronics sold a 6.7 percent stake in the joint venture Wednesday.
Trade volume was 279.6 million shares, valued at 5.3 trillion won. Losing shares outnumbered winners, 590 to 203.
The secondary Kosdaq also lost 9.48 points, or 1.5 percent to close at 621.81. Trade volume was 500.9 million shares, valued at 1.2 trillion won.

By Sung So-young Staff Reporter [so@joongang.co.kr]
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