South Korea’s stocks rose for the first time in four days after the nation and Japan said North Korea’s rocket launch this morning may have failed.
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index gained 0.7 percent to 2,000.10 as of 9:30 a.m. Seoul time. North Korea fired the rocket from its Sohae Satellite Launching Station at about 7:39 a.m. today, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said at a televised press briefing in Seoul. The launch appears to have failed, South Korea and Japan said.
“Investors are just shrugging off this launch,” Im Jeong Jae, a Seoul-based fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co., which oversees about $28 billion. “The news came out before the market opened that the rocket launch failed, so investors didn’t have to worry about it.”
The North has said the projectile was to carry a satellite into orbit as part of celebrations marking the centennial of state founder Kim Il Sung, and was not a long-range missile test in violation of United Nations sanctions.
South Korea’s central bank will closely monitor stocks, bonds and currency markets following North Korea’s rocket launch, Deputy Governor Park Won Shik said at an emergency meeting in Seoul today. The Bank of Korea will organize a 24-hour emergency team to monitor markets and will act to stabilize markets if needed, Park said.