Kospi closes lower for sixth-straight day

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Kospi closes lower for sixth-straight day

Seoul stocks closed 3.9 percent lower yesterday as foreign investors sold large caps on overnight U.S. losses sparked by Citigroup’s plan to lay off jobs worldwide, analysts said. The gauge fell for the sixth trading day, its longest losing streak since Oct. 6.

The benchmark Kospi tumbled 42.16 points to 1,036.16. Volume was moderate at 372.4 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won ($2.8 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 631 to 194.

“Global markets are looking toward the U.S. market for stability. We’ll have to see how major U.S. indices to be announced this week will turn out to predict the short-term future,” said Bae Sung-yung, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release the nation’s consumer price index today. The latest U.S. housing statistic is scheduled to be announced also today.

Wall Street tumbled again Monday after Citigroup said it would cut another 53,000 jobs around the world to deal with the fallout from the financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 2.6 percent and the tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index slid 2.3 percent.

Samsung Electronics, Asia’s biggest maker of chips and cell phones, lost 3.4 percent to 435,000 won. LG Electronics, Asia’s second-largest handset maker, fell 5.3 percent. Eastman Kodak filed a U.S. trade complaint against the two companies, seeking to ban imports of mobile phones that have digital cameras.

Brokerages led the day’s losses in the bearish market. Samsung Securities, the biggest Korean brokerage by market value, fell 3.8 percent. Mirae Asset Securities, the second largest, lost 8.4 percent.

Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, the top Korean power-equipment maker, retreated 3.9 percent. Citigroup cut its recommendation to “hold,” from “buy,” citing weakening new orders momentum.

On the other hand, Hyundai Corp., a trading company, soared by the daily limit of 15 percent.

The company said it signed a preliminary agreement with the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan to provide escalators, train cars and equipment for the construction of the city’s subway network, a project worth about $300 million.

Yonhap, Bloomberg
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