07.22 Mon


Investors on edge about 4Q reports; stocks drop

Jan 24,2007
Investors are apprehensive about major U.S. companies’ fourth-quarter earnings announcements this week, tugging down the Korean stock markets yesterday.
The benchmark Kospi declined 0.32 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 1,363.09.
Blue chips were mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.9 percent to 596,000 won ($633). LG.Philiips LCD also gained 0.6 percent. But LG Electronics, Asia’s second-largest mobile phone maker, and Hynix Semiconductor tumbled 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
KT&G, Korea’s only tobacco maker, rose 0.5 percent as analysts predicted the company will continue expanding exports.
Banking shares performed well after data from the Financial Supervisory Service yesterday showed the bad debt ratio at local lenders had fallen to a record low of 0.84 percent as of late 2006.
Kookmin Bank, Korea’s largest lender, rose 1.4 percent and the No. 2, Shinhan Financial Group, climbed 0.4 percent. Hana Financial Group gained 0.8 percent.
Hyundai Heavy Industries soared 2.2 percent after announcing it would form a venture with Finnish engineering firm Waertsilae Ojy to produce a new engine for liquefied natural gas carriers.
SK, Korea’s largest refinery, skidded 3.4 percent after the company posted its smallest quarterly profit in three years.
Decliners led advancers, 469 to 282. Volume was 170.6 million shares, worth 2.2 trillion won.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq dropped 6.08 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 571.04.
Shares of Solco Biomedical Co. surged 7.8 percent after the state weather agency predicted the worst ever yellow dust storms in the coming spring. Solco produces equipment to filter micro dust.
Trading volume was 624 million shares, worth 1.6 trillion won. Decliners outpaced advancers, 616 to 313.

By Jung Ha-won Staff Writer [hawon@joongang.co.kr]
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