Global Markets: Samsung Heavy Plummets, Dragging Kospi Down

By Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly higher Wednesday, though South Korea's benchmark underperformed again.

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On Tuesday, the Kospi was hit by declines of more than 3% for Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix following a report from Taiwan that iPhone 8 orders were being slashed for the first quarter. That weighed on Apple shares Tuesday.

While Samsung and SK Hynix rebounded Wednesday, the Kospi fell 0.5% as Hyundai Heavy Industries lost more than a quarter of its market value.

The world's largest shipbuilder gave guidance through 2018, unveiled a 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion) plan to sell stock to raise funds and said it would sell part of its refining operation.

Hyundai Heavy was recently down 28%.

The company's update came three weeks after smaller peer Samsung Heavy lost a quarter of its market value in a day after warning of heavy losses and unveiling a stock sale. Samsung Heavy's shares were 2.4% lower Wednesday.

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Elsewhere, markets were modestly higher, helped by overnight gains in commodity prices. Oil hit another 2 1/2 -year high and copper notched a three-year best.

"With limited economic data to push markets around this week, today really is about position-squaring" ahead of the new year, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

Australia's stock benchmark hit fresh 10-year highs Wednesday and was recently up 0.3%. New Zealand's benchmark gained 0.2%.

Oil's Tuesday jump, prompted by a pipeline explosion in Libya, helped some Asia-Pacific stocks. Crude futures pulled back nearly 0.5% in Asian trading Wednesday.

Taiwan's Taiex, which slid 1% yesterday, rose 0.5% Wednesday.

Write to Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 26, 2017 21:02 ET (02:02 GMT)