January 23, 2009 11:53
Despite mounting fears of a second chapter to the global financial crisis, Korea's stock market is staying afloat. Major stock indexes around the world are on a downward trend.
In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.4 percent during the first 21 days of this year while the tech-laden Nasdaq contracted 8.6 percent.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average tumbled almost 11 percent while the Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong retreated close to 13 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange dropped nearly 8 percent. And in Europe, the FTSE 100 index in Britain plunged 7.7 percent while France's CAC 40 index fell 9.1 percent.
However, the benchmark KOSPI index shed only 1.9 percent and the tech-heavy Kosdaq rose over 6 percent from the Jan. 1 to 21. Korea Exchange says this can be attributed to increasing profits at Kosdaq-listed companies given a lift by the Korean government's economic stimulus package, which includes boosting environmental technologies.
Meanwhile, Australian financial management firm Macquarie Group pointed to Korea and Taiwan as the two most promising countries in Asia for investments.
But it stressed that timing is the key. Macquarie says it will be hard for businesses in the region to recover until the second quarter of this year as companies will be cutting production due to piling inventories.
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