South Korea’s Kospi index fell 6.02, or 0.3 percent, to 2020.28 at the close in Seoul, after falling as much as 1.5 percent earlier.
The following were among the most-active stocks in South Korean markets.
Bulk carriers: STX Pan Ocean Co. (028670 KS), South Korea’s biggest bulk carrier, fell 2.6 percent to 11,400 won. Korea Line Corp. (005880 KS), the second-biggest, declined 2.8 percent to 25,700 won. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of raw materials-shipping costs, slid below 2,000 points in London for the first time since August on Dec. 17 because of a surplus of panamax-class vessels competing for cargoes.
Defense-related shares: Victek Co. (065450 KS), which makes electronic warfare equipment, rose 1.9 percent to 3,010 won. Speco Co. (013810 KS), a military installation parts developer, added 8 percent to 3,940 won. Huneed Technologies (005870 KS), a military communication equipment manufacturer, gained 0.7 percent to 5,670 won.
South Korea commenced a live-firing drill, plans for which prompted North Korean threats of retaliation.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (042660 KS), the world’s third-largest shipyard, advanced 1.7 percent to 35,350 won, the highest since Aug. 28, 2008, after a unit and partners got approval from Papua New Guinea to operate a floating liquefied natural gas production unit off the country.
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (011200 KS) retreated 4.6 percent to 39,750 won, the most since Nov. 29. Hyundai Group plans to sell “a few trillion won” of shares in a French unit of Hyundai Merchant, South Korea’s second-largest shipping company, in a private placement, the group said in a statement, without giving further details.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (010140 KS), a South Korean shipyard, added 4.3 percent to 40,000 won, the highest since July 29, 2008. “Investors seem to be betting that global demand for offshore facilities will be more than previously anticipated next year, and the company will benefit,” Jeon Jae Cheon, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said by phone today.
Seoul Semiconductor Co. (046890 KS), a South Korean light-emitting diode products maker, declined 3.8 percent to 40,950 won, the most since Oct. 27. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rated the shares “sell” in new coverage, saying the company will post a “significant” earnings decline for 2011, in a report today.