South Korean Stocks Drop Over 1% Late Wednesday Morning Due to U.S. Economy Worries


SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks dropped more than 1 percent late Wednesday morning as most of the major shares declined due to investors’ concerns about the U.S. economy.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 27.62 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,639.45 as of 11:20 a.m.

Wall Street ended mixed Tuesday (U.S. time) as investors took a pause from a months-long rally in anticipation of earnings reports from major companies such as Apple Inc. and Inc., as well as U.S. jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite decreased 0.43 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.27 percent.

Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from AAA, citing “repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions,” further stoked investors’ worries.

In Seoul, most of the major stocks were in the red.

Market leader Samsung Electronics declined 1.13 percent, and the No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dropped 2.8 percent.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution decreased 1.62 percent and its smaller rival Samsung SDI fell more than 2.5 percent.

Steel giant POSCO Holdings plunged 3.7 percent and its battery component-making affiliate POSCO Future M lost 3.34 percent.

Top chemical producer LG Chem went down 1.22 percent.

Auto shares also traded in negative territory, with both Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia losing more than 2 percent. Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor’s auto parts affiliate, sank almost 3 percent.

Bio stocks also declined, with Samsung Biologics dropping 1.37 percent and Celltrion decreasing 1.06 percent.

IT shares were bearish, with internet portal operator Naver falling 1.5 percent and Kakao, the operator of popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, down 2.73 percent.

Kakao Bank plunged 3.88 percent on profit taking despite a solid earnings report.

The local currency was trading at 1,291.10 won against the U.S. dollar as of 11:20 a.m., down 7.3 won from Tuesday’s close.

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