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S. Korea's Financial Markets Stumble
Source: koreaherald.com
Source Date: Friday, May 07, 2010
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: May 10, 2010

Korea's financial markets are stumbling in the morning of Friday as Seoul shares and currency plunged on fears about mounting European debt crisis, analysts said.

South Korean shares plummeted after the opening of its stock markets in the wake of a fall in global markets, as investors grew more concerned about the European debt crisis, analysts told Yonhap News.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) skidded
50.05 points, or 2.97 percent, to 1,634.66 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

The broad sell-off saw bank and financial shares under massive downward pressure. Hyundai Motor, South Korea's top automaker, lost 5.13 percent and leading financial services company KB Financial Group fell 4.8 percent.

Investors remained jittery over festering European debt problems after the European Central Bank failed to come up with new bailout measures as investors had expected, according to the analysts.

The Korean currency also tumbled against the U.S. dollar in the daay as investors panicked by the escalating debt crisis in the euro-zone flocked to safe assets, dealers said.

The local currency was trading at 1,159.95 won to the greenback as of 9:10 a.m., down 18.65 won from the previous session.

Analysts said the won's sharp fall came amid growing fears that Greece's fiscal problems might spread to other euro-zone countries, pounding confidence in the euro. On Thursday, the Korean won fell 2.26 percent to the greenback.
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