RTTNews - The South Korean market is trading weak on Monday amid renewed concerns over the pace of global economic recovery following some weak data from the U.S. and Japan. Bank, energy, steel and automobile stocks have declined sharply and not much buying is seen in other sectors as well.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI, which showed some signs of a recovery after a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, is currently down with a sharp loss of 22.9 points or 1.44% at 1,568.5.

Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are trading lower by 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. Ssangyong Motors, which had a few strong outings in the previous week, is currently down with a loss of 8.8%.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is down by 3%, KB Financial is trading lower by 2.8%, Woori Finance is declining by about 2% and Shinhan Financial is down with a loss of 1.5%.

Oil stocks SK Holdings and S-Oil are down by 2.6% and 0.5% respectively. KEPCO is trading flat. Among steel stocks, Hyundai Steel and POSCO have lost over 1.5% from their previous closing prices.

Among technology stocks, Hynix Semiconductor is up by a modest 0.6% and LG Electronics is trading up by 1.5%. LG Display LCD is trading flat, while heavyweight Samsung Electronics is down with a 0.6% loss.

Airliners Korean Airlines and Asiana Airlines are trading lower by 5% and 2.2% respectively. In the telecom space, KT Corp. is down by 2.4% while SK Telecom is trading flat.

Among shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries is down by 2.6% and Samsung Heavy Industries is down by nearly 1%. Daewoo Shipbuilding is gaining 1.3% and bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is up modestly.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Japan are down sharply with their benchmark indices trading lower by 2.2%-3.2%. New Zealand, Taiwan and Australia are also trading in the red with notable losses.

Stock markets across the region had finished mostly higher on Friday.

On Wall Street, hurt by disappointing economic data, stocks finished notably lower on Friday despite a late pullback. The decline in equities came following the release of Reuters and the University of Michigan's preliminary report on consumer sentiment for the month of August, which showed that the consumer sentiment index unexpectedly decreased compared to the previous month.

Coupled with disappointing retail sales figures released earlier in the week, data indicated that the American consumer is still struggling, prompting the pullback by stocks.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index was unchanged in July after increasing by an unrevised 0.7 percent in June. The lack of growth in consumer prices came in line with the expectations of economists.

The Dow closed down by 76.79 points or 0.8% at 9,321.40, the Nasdaq declined by 23.83 points or 1.2% to 1,985.52 and the S&P 500 slipped by 8.64 points or 0.9% to 1004.09.

Major European markets closed notably lower, with the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index falling by 0.8% and 0.9% respectively, while the German DAX index posted a loss of 1.7%.

Crude oil plunged on Friday amid energy demand concerns after a disappointing consumer sentiment report in the U.S. The drop took oil to its lowest closing level of the month. Light sweet crude oil for September delivery declined to US$67.51 per barrel, down US$3.01 on the session. Prices touched a low of US$67.12 per barrel during the day.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com