RTTNews - The South Korean market is down sharply in the red on Monday with investors pressing heavy sales across the board on renewed concerns over the global economy.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI opened modestly lower at 1,426, but fell sharply to 1,395 as stocks across various sectors tumbled on selling pressure. Currently, the index is trading at 1,399, down nearly 30 points or 2.1% from its previous close. On Friday, the KOSPI had ended 2.27 points or 0.46% down at 1,429, on thin volumes.

In the automobile space, Kia Motor is down by 3.7% and Hyundai Motors is trading lower by 2%. Ssangyong Motors is up nearly 2%.

Among bank stocks, KB Financial, Korea Exchange Bank and Shinhan Financial are trading lower by 1.5%-2%. Woori Finance is up 0.4%.

Among technology stocks, LG Electronics is down nearly 4%, Samsung Electronics is trading lower by 2.6% and Hynix Semiconductor is down by 1.3%. LG Display LCD, which is faring relatively better, is down by 0.8%.

Oil stock SK Holdings is declining 1.5% while S-Oil is down with a modest loss. Energy stock KEPCO is down by 1.5%. Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are trading down 2.6% and 2% respectively.

Telecom stocks KT Corp and SK Telecom are down by around 1.6%. Among airliners, Asiana Airlines and Korea Airlines are down by 1.3% and 0.5% respectively.

Shipbuilding stocks are also exhibiting weakness. Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are down by 2%-3%. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is up with a modest gain.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong are trading sharply lower. Shanghai, Australia and Indonesia are also trading weak. The New Zealand market is up modestly. Stock markets across the region had ended Friday's session mostly lower.

On Friday, Wall Street ended lower after a lackluster show. The major averages saw some upside in late-session dealing, with only the Nasdaq being able to climb into positive territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was able to finish higher by 3.48 points or 0.2% at 1,756.03, while the Dow fell by 36.65 points or 0.5% to 8,146.52 and the S&P 500 dipped by 3.55 points or 0.4% to 879.13.

Major European markets also finished on the downside, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index closing down by 1.2% and 1.4% respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also fell, posting a loss of 0.8% for the session.

Crude oil dropped below US$60 per barrel after the latest report from the International Energy Agency backed lingering demand concerns. Crude capped its worst week since early January, falling more than 10%. On Friday, light sweet crude for August delivery touched as low as US$58.72 in early trading before finishing at US$59.89 a barrel, down 52 cents from Thursday's close.

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