(LEAD) S. Korea keeping close tabs on impact of U.S. credit downgrade: finance ministry


(ATTN: UPDATES with closing share price at bottom)

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) — The South Korean finance ministry reported Wednesday that the nation is intently monitoring the aftermath of the recent U.S. credit rating downgrade, noting the event is expected to have only a limited effect on the market.

On Tuesday (U.S. time), Fitch Ratings downgraded the credit rating of the United States to AA+ from AAA, citing “repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.”

It marked the first downgrade of the world’s top economy since 2011 when S&P Global Ratings lowered the rating by a notch to AA+.

“So far, the market is anticipating the impact (of Fitch’s downgrade) will not be as significant as the adjustment of the U.S. credit rating by S&P in 2011,” First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun said during a meeting.

“Nevertheless, as the market volatility at home and abroad may expand with increasing demand for safer assets, we plan to maintain close coordination among related bodies, and take measures to stabilize the market if needed,” he added.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, meanwhile, fell 50.6 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 2,616.47 on Wednesday.


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