Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in South Korea trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of the 3 p.m. close in Seoul.
The Kospi Index fell 35.38, or 1.8 percent, to 1,969.92, the lowest level since Dec. 8.
Airlines: Korean Air Lines Co. (003490 KS), South Korea’s largest carrier, tumbled 10 percent to 62,100 won, the steepest drop since October 2008. Asiana Airlines Inc. (020560 KS), the second-largest, lost 10 percent to 10,450 won. Oil jumped to the highest in more than two years as violence intensified in Libya, stoking concern crude supplies will be disrupted as violence escalates around the Middle East and North Africa. Fuel comprises more than 30 percent of operating costs for Korean Air, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Builders: GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (006360 KS) retreated 5.7 percent to 99,000 won, the lowest level since Nov. 19. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. (000720 KS) dropped 9.7 percent to 72,300 won. Daelim Industrial Co. (000210 KS) lost 4.9 percent to 96,100 won. The 36-member Korea Construction Index was the worst performer among the Kospi’s 19 industry groups, tumbling by 6.6 percent. Libya erupted into violence last night after Muammar Qaddafi’s son threatened “rivers of blood” and deployed security forces on protesters, some of whom claimed control of the second-biggest city, Benghazi.
“The Middle East issue is affecting sentiment today as investors grapple with uncertainty whether the political instability will spill over across the region,” said Im Jeong Jae, a fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co. in Seoul, which oversees $28 billion of assets.
Hyosung Corp. (004800 KS), a chemical products maker, slipped 2.8 percent to 80,200 won, after posting a net loss of 32.5 billion won ($29 million) for the fourth quarter.
Woongjin Energy Co. (103130 KS), a South Korean solar-cell parts maker, gained 3.6 percent to 17,200 won, its largest gain since Jan. 20. The company won a $114.8 million silicon wafer order from Blue Chip Energy GmbH, according to a filing.