Shipbuilders, construction lead Kospi fall

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Shipbuilders, construction lead Kospi fall

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The Kospi briefly dipped below the 1,000-mark yesterday. [NEWSIS]

Korean stocks closed down 1.87 percent yesterday as blue chips suffered from worsened U.S. economic indicators and a possible overhaul of the local shipbuilding and construction sectors, analysts said. The local currency gained against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi tumbled 19.34 points to 1,016.82. Volume was moderate at 398.2 million shares worth 4.14 trillion won ($2.87 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers, 616 to 205.

“Worsening data from the U.S. economy and uncertainty in the future of the shipbuilding and construction sectors, caused by pressure to restructure themselves, is putting pressure on the key index for the time being,” said Bae Sung-yung, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

Shipbuilders and construction shares led the overall decline. Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipyard, fell 3.63 percent and leading builder Daewoo Engineering and Construction slipped 1.25 percent. Steel and heavy machinery issues also finished lower. Posco tumbled 1.5 percent and Doosan Heavy Industries slumped 3.73 percent.

Tech exporters, however, gained ground on bargain hunting. Samsung Electronics rose 0.69 percent to 438,000 won ($302) and rival LG Electronics climbed 1.53 percent. Hynix Semiconductor tumbled 7.4 percent, its lowest since Jan. 26, 2004.

SK Energy dropped 5 percent, and GS Holdings Corp., which operates the nation’s second-biggest refiner, fell 6.8 percent, the lowest close since Jan. 7, 2005.

KB Financial slumped 4.2 percent, and Shinhan Financial Group Ltd. lost 2.5 percent. Yonhap, Bloomberg
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