South Korea’s benchmark Kospi fell 45.59 points, or 1.83 percent, from a day earlier to 2447.38 points Wednesday, marking a seventh straight negative session as investors dramatically raise their bets on a US Fed hike of 75 basis points on Wednesday there, steeper than the 50 basis points it had indicated.
The main board slid to an intraday low of 2436.04 points, a new 52-week low, as foreign investors carried on a sell-off for a ninth session straight, outweighing purchases by institutional and retail investors. Shares of market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell to 60,700 won ($47) apiece, also a new 52-week low.
Financial authorities had said contingencies were in place, though no concrete steps have so far been presented. An official with knowledge of the matter said a comprehensive approach was needed to address expanding volatility affecting not only stocks but interest rates.
Bank of Korea Gov. Rhee Chang-yong has highlighted taming inflation as the central bank’s mission. The BOK has raised interest rates by 1.25 percentage points in five stages so far, beginning in July last year from a record low of 0.5 percent to currently 1.75 percent. It is expected to lift borrowing costs again in July.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)