The Korea Herald


Seoul shares open sharply lower on U.S. losses


Published : Aug. 19, 2011 - 10:28

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South Korean stocks opened sharply lower on Friday as overnight panic selling on Wall Street froze investor sentiment here, analysts said.

After opening 3.81 percent down, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) sank below the 1,800-point mark. In the first 15 minutes of trading, KOSPI extended losses, tumbling 78.43 points, or 4.22 percent, to 1,782.15.

The bourse operator halted trading on the secondary KOSDAQ and its futures as the index plunged.

Wall Street was hit by a dismal report on regional U.S.

manufacturing, raising fears of another recession. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 3.68 percent and the tech-focused Nasdaq composite index tumbled 5.22 percent.

The local currency traded at 1,084.9 won to the U.S. dollar as of 9:15 a.m., down 10.9 won from Thursday's close. (Yonhap News)