[WSJ] Samsung Takes Korea’s Stock Market Down With It

October 3, 2014
The headquarters of Samsung Group in Seocho-dong, Seoul

The headquarters of Samsung Group in Seocho-dong, Seoul

[WSJ] SEOUL—On July 30, South Korea’s stock market stood at its highest level in three years, buoyed by optimism over a new government stimulus plan and an expected interest-rate cut.

Then Samsung Electronics Co. intervened.

Now, the broader Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, is back down at a two-month low, trading at roughly the same level it started the year.

A major reason is Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones and televisions, which accounts for 14.4% of the South Korean stock market’s overall capitalization—roughly the same as the next five biggest companies combined. When Samsung catches a cold, the market sneezes.

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