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Stock Markets Sharply Drop Worldwide

Posted January. 23, 2008 07:38,   


Due to worries over a U.S. economic slowdown, global stock markets plunged.

The benchmark KOSPI fell 74.54 points (4.43 percent) to close at 1,609.02 yesterday, the biggest drop since August 16, 2007 when the index plunged a whopping 125.91 points. Yesterday’s plunge was also the sixth largest in the nation’s history, though the index had dropped 104.90 points to 1,578.66 during the trading session.

Tech-heavy KOSDAQ index also dropped 37.07 points (5.69 percent) to close at 614.80 points, the lowest in 10 months.

Yesterday’s sell-off in the KOSPI and KOSDAQ markets amounted to 41.83 trillion won. Market capitalization nosedived to 897.19 trillion won yesterday, down 154.57 trillion won from the end of last year.

Out of 1,905 stocks listed on the nation’s two stock markets, 89.55 percent or 1,706 stocks saw their values decline yesterday. Net selling (the amount of selling minus the amount of purchasing) of foreign investors who have sold their shares for 14-straight trading days reached 843.2 billion won. In the nation’s foreign exchange market, the won/dollar exchange rate soared to 954.0 won per dollar yesterday.

Other Asian markets also experienced heavy selling yesterday as the Shanghai market shed 7.22 percent, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 8.65 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average also plummeted, falling 5.65 percent. The day before, European stock markets had all plunged. Germany’s DAX 30 tumbled 7.16 percent Monday, the worst since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

As worries mount that the U.S. economic slowdown will discourage corporate activity and consumer spending, NYMEX West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery slipped 2.1 percent Monday.

ssoo@donga.com aryssong@donga.com