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S. Korea's financial market rattled by Kim's death


13:31, December 19, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's financial market was rattled on Monday after Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) passed away last Saturday from a great mental and physical strain.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) tumbled 64.69 points, or 3.52 percent, to trade at 1,775.27 as of 1:18 p.m. , extending its earlier losses amid lingering concerns over Europe' s debt crisis.

"When DPRK's former leader Kim Il Sung died in July 1994, the KOSPI moved in a narrow range of around 10 points before rebounding days later. But Kim Jung Il's death may cause more volatility in the local stock market as uncertainties remained about the handover of power to next leader Kim Jong un," Kang Hyun-gie, a strategist at Solomon Investment & Securities in Seoul, told Xinhua.

The South Korean won dropped sharply against the U.S. dollar to quote at 1,177.3, down 18.7 won from Friday's close.

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