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S. Korean shares fall on concern over Italy politics


08:57, February 27, 2013

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares fell for two straight days on Tuesday as uncertainty over Italian elections refueled concerns over Europe's debt crisis.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 9. 51 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 2,000.01. Trading volume stood at 404.13 million shares worth 3.37 trillion won (3.1 billion U.S. dollars).

Large-cap shares, which depend on overseas markets for sales, led the slide. The world's No. 1 smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost 0.2 percent, and the nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell 0.5 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor slid 0.5 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors declined 0.9 percent.

Italy could be left with a hung parliament as partial election results showed that no political party won the majority in the Senate, sparking fears that the European country may fail to continue its austerity drive.

Foreign funds reduced their holdings of stocks by 123.4 billion won, the first selling in seven trading days. Retail investors bought a net 131 billion won worth of stocks, but institutional investors sold shares worth 14.4 billion won.

The KOSPI's correction was relatively small after the Japanese yen rose to the 91 level to the dollar. The eurozone risks boosted demand for safe assets such as the yen, leading to easing concerns over weaker yen that can hurt price competitiveness of South Korean exporters in overseas markets.

The local currency finished at 1,088.0 won against the greenback, down 1.7 won from Monday's close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.03 percentage point to 2.65 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds declined 0.04 percentage point to 2.76 percent.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)

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