Edition:
United Kingdom

Hayoung Choi

S.Korean stocks post sharpest fall in 15 months as China virus spreads

28 Jan 2020

SEOUL, Jan 28 South Korean shares suffered their worst session in more than 15 months on Tuesday, dragged down by mounting worries over the economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. Local stocks exposed to China, the biggest buyer of South Korean goods, dominated the losses as the death toll from the virus in the world's second-largest economy climbed to 106 and some health experts questioned whether Beijing can contain the virus, which could threaten global growth.

S.Korea bourse's planned cap on index weighting seen forcing sales of Samsung

23 Jan 2020

SEOUL, Jan 23 Funds tracking South Korea's KOSPI 200 index will be forced to sell up to $685 million worth of shares of Samsung Electronics when the bourse lowers the maximum weighting of any single stock to 30% later this year, fund managers and analysts estimated.

No money, no hope: South Korea's 'Dirt Spoons' turn against Moon

27 Nov 2019

SEOUL Hwang Hyeon-dong lives in a 6.6-square-metre (71-square-foot) cubicle near his university campus in Seoul, which comes with a shared bathroom and kitchen plus all the rice he can eat, that he rents for 350,000 won ($302) a month.

South Korean, Chinese students face off over Hong Kong protests

15 Nov 2019

SEOUL Kim Ji-mun, a 23-year-old South Korean university student, had just put up a banner on campus with his friends in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests when a group of Chinese students tried to take it down.

South Korean, Chinese students face off over Hong Kong protests

15 Nov 2019

SEOUL Kim Ji-mun, a 23-year-old South Korean university student, had just put up a banner on campus with his friends in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests when a group of Chinese students tried to take it down.

In South Korea's dangerous shipyards, subcontracted workers are most at risk

29 Oct 2019

GEOJE, South Korea Park Chol-hee was working the holiday shift at Samsung Heavy Industries' Geoje shipyard on Labour Day, 2017, when a giant crane collided with another and crashed to ground, killing six people, including Park's younger brother.

RPT-Scarred by trade war, South Korea's stocks whipped by oil shock

23 Sep 2019

SEOUL/SINGAPORE, Sept 20 Slammed by a surge in global trade protectionism, South Korea, the world's sixth largest exporting nation, this week headed into another major economic headwind: a spike in oil prices.

Scarred by trade war, South Korea's stocks whipped by oil shock

20 Sep 2019

SEOUL/SINGAPORE, Sept 20 Slammed by a surge in global trade protectionism, South Korea, the world's sixth largest exporting nation, this week headed into another major economic headwind: a spike in oil prices.

S.Korea stocks down more than 1% as U.S.-China trade war escalates

06 Aug 2019

* KOSPI index hits lowest since Feb, 2016 * Korean won turns higher vs U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises By Hayoung Choi SEOUL, Aug 6 South Korean shares fell more than 1% on Tuesday, marking the fifth consecutive session of losses, after Washington designated Beijing a currency manipulator in a further escalation of their trade conflict. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the government had determined that China was manipulating its currency, and that Washington would engage the International Monetary Fund to eliminate unfair competition from Beijing. As of 0205 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI had dropped 24.23 points, or 1.24%, to 1,922.75 points. The index fell as much as 2.8% in early trade, hitting the lowest level since February 2016. "Uncertainties have grown as the friction between the United States and China reached a boiling point," said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. Most leading KOSPI firms were in red, including SK Hynix and Hyundai Mobis , which dropped 3% and 4%, respectively. South Korea's finance ministry said on Tuesday it is monitoring markets closely and would act quickly if volatility became excessive, while the central bank also held a meeting to assess the market situation. Japan's decision on Friday to remove South Korea from fast-track export status put further strain on the trade-reliant economy, sending the benchmark index plunging. The junior KOSDAQ stumbled as much as 5.1% on Tuesday before giving up early losses. The Korean won turned higher with currency dealers suspecting authorities had sold dollars to curb the currency's weakness. The won was quoted at 1,213.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.18% higher than its previous close at 1,215.3. On the main board, foreigners were net sellers of 221.2 billion won ($182.30 million) worth of shares. The KOSPI has fallen 5.80% so far this year, and has lost 8.4% in the previous 30 trading sessions. The won has lost 8.0% against the U.S dollar so far this year, making it the biggest percentage loser among its major Asian peers. In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 111.23, while the 3-month certificate of deposit rate was quoted at 1.50%. The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.8 basis points to 1.190%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.6 basis points to 1.278%. ($1=1,213.4 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi)

S.Korea stocks slump over 2% on escalating tension with Japan, trade worries

05 Aug 2019

* KOSPI index closes at lowest since June 2016 * Korean won posts steepest pct loss since Aug 2016 * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls to all-time low * For the midday report, please click (Updates to market close) By Hayoung Choi SEOUL, Aug 5 South Korean shares tumbled more than 2% on Monday to close at their lowest level since June 2016 amid a worsening diplomatic row with Japan. Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, South Korea's largest export markets, added to the selling pressure. The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI index closed down 51.15 points or 2.56% at 1,946.98, marking its sharpest daily percentage loss since May 9. Tech giant Samsung Electronics fell 2.2%, extending losses from last week when it reported a plunge in profit and warned Japanese curbs on the export of chip-making materials was blurring its outlook. Japan said on Friday it would remove South Korea from a list of countries that enjoy minimum export restrictions from Aug. 28, pushing the KOSPI down nearly 1%. Japan tightened controls in July on exports to South Korea, escalating a row over wartime forced labourers and sparking a boycott by South Korean consumers of Japanese products and services, from cars, beer and pens to tours. "Japan's tighter export controls may dent South Korea's capital investment, exports and private consumption, which may lead to this year's growth rate being lower than 2%," said Lee Kyung-su, chief of Mertiz Securities research centre. South Korea on Monday announced plans to invest about 7.8 trillion won ($6.44 billion) in research and development for local materials, parts and equipment over the next seven years in an effort to cut reliance on Japanese imports. However, such measures are expected to take some time to kick in, according to analysts. The junior KOSDAQ extended its losses, triggering the bourse to suspend future linked trades for five minutes. It ended down 7.5%. The KOSPI's pharmaceutical sub-index was the biggest percentage loser with a 8.8% drop on dampened sentiment across the sector after SillaJen's halted clinical tests. Trade worries and a sudden slide in China's yuan sent South Korea's won to as low as 1218.3 per dollar. The yuan breached the 7 per dollar level for the first time in 11 years. The won was quoted at 1,215.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 1.42% lower than its previous close at 1,198.0, marking its sharpest daily percentage loss since August 2016. Amid greater appetite for safe-haven assets, the currency marked its lowest against the Japanese yen since July 2016. Foreigners were net sellers of 317.6 billion won ($261.35 million) worth of shares on the main board on Monday. Individuals were net sellers of 441.7 billion won, with analysts seeing some forced liquidations. Amid the protracted trade war between the United States and China, The KOSPI has fallen 4.61% so far this year, and lost 6.0% in the previous 30 trading sessions. The won has lost 8.2% against the U.S dollar so far this year. In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.29 points to 111.26, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.50%. The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 7.5 basis points to 1.186%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 9.6 basis points to all-time low of 1.256%. ($1 = 1,215.2500 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta & Kim Coghill)

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