Stock market’s fall moves into fourth day

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Stock market’s fall moves into fourth day

Seoul stocks finished lower for a fourth session yesterday as foreign investors extended their net selling in the local bourse, analysts said. The benchmark Kospi fell 4.75 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,710.84.

Volume was moderate at 357.8 million shares worth 3.8 trillion won ($3.7 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 517 to 295.

“Foreign investors extended their net-selling mode for the fourth straight day, while institutional and retail buying reduced the key index’s losses,” said Lim Dong-min, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.

Steelmakers lost heavily, with industry leader Posco slumping 1.9 percent. Smaller rival Hyundai Steel lost 0.5 percent.

Brokerage shares also lost substantial ground due to the key index’s recent losses. Samsung Securities fell 0.6 percent and Woori Investment and Securities tumbled 1.3 percent. Fifth-largest lender Korea Exchange Bank plunged 2.1 percent despite an appeals court clearing Lone Star, the largest shareholder, earlier in the day of stock price manipulation in connection with its 2003 takeover of the bank’s card unit. Top lender Kookmin Bank climbed 0.7 percent.

Tech exporters, meanwhile, gained ground amid the overall downswing. Samsung Electronics edged up 0.2 percent to 659,000 won and its consumer electronics rival LG Electronics climbed 1.6 percent. LG’s second-quarter global operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, will exceed 850 billion won, Goodmorning Shinhan Securities said in a report.

Shipbuilders were mixed. Samsung Heavy Industries, the world’s No. 2 shipbuilder, lost 4.3 percent. The company was fined 30 million won on Monday for causing Korea’s worst oil spill in December. Some investors are wary of the ruling’s influence on talks for compensating victims of the leakage, said Lee Jae-kyu, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

STX Shipbuilding, the owner of Europe’s largest shipyard, slipped 3 percent. The company said on Monday it canceled a 220.7 billion won contract after the European buyer failed to make the initial payment. On the other hand, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the world’s third-largest maker of ships, climbed 1.4 percent, after a new report that Posco has invited SK Group to form a group to bid for the shipbuilder. Yonhap, Bloomberg
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