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Seoul: Shares suffer biggest drop in a year on oil slump; won jumps

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 14:42
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[SEOUL] South Korean shares tumbled on Tuesday as sliding oil prices and political uncertainty in Greece prompted a global flight out of riskier assets.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.7 per cent to close at 1,882.45 points, its biggest one-day percentage fall in a year. Earlier, the index hit its lowest intraday level since August 28, 2013.

Declines were broad-based although the brunt of the losses were borne by commodity-linked sectors such as shipbuilding and energy firms.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering slumped 6.9 per cent while Lotte Chemical tumbled 6.1 per cent.

Offshore investors dumped a net 336.7 billion won (US$306.7 million) worth of KOSPI shares on Tuesday, the largest one-day foreign capital outflow on the main bourse in nearly three weeks.

The South Korean won climbed 1 per cent against the dollar, brushing aside a sharp selloff in domestic equities as the yen's rebound soothed worries of intervention by financial authorities to check the won's strength against the Japanese currency.

The won was quoted at 1,098.8 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, compared to 1,109.9 seen at the end of Monday's session.

REUTERS