S Korean shares down on slump in U.S. consumer confidence

19:12, February 24, 2010      

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South Korean shares closed 0.99 percent lower Wednesday, ending a two-session gain.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 16. 07 points to end at 1,612.83, the Korea Exchange (KRX) said.

The decline was mainly due to a U.S. report that its consumer sentiment fell to a 10-month low in February.

Downward moves in other major Asian markets, including the Tokyo stock exchange which fell around one percent, contributed to Seoul's decline.

Market giants led the market decline, with POSCO falling 3.06 percent to 538,000 won (466.2 U.S. dollars) and top automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 2.56 percent to 114,000 won (98.8 U.S. dollars).

While POSCO's decline came after it announced bid for Daewoo International, the decrease in Hyundai was mainly due to its decision to recall its new Sonata sedans in South Korea and the U. S.

The junior bourse KOSDAQ, however, inched up 0.14 point, or 0. 03 percent, ending at 514.04.

The derivatives markets moved down, with the KOSPI 200 Futures market losing 2.35 points, or 1.10 percent, to close at 211.10 points.

In the meantime, the local currency continued to lose value against the U.S. dollar, with the exchange rate hitting 1,153.2 won against one U.S. dollar, down 4.9 won from the previous session.

Bond yields closed higher with the yield on the benchmark three- year Treasury note losing 0.02 percentage point to finish at 4.14 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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