Shares of shipbuilders and automakers were lower in late morning trading as investors react belatedly to the possible increase in steel prices, reports indicated
Hyundai Heavy Industries was down 4,500 won or 1.2 percent at 380,000 won, Samsung Heavy Industries was off 600 won or 1.9 percent to 30,400 won and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering fell 300 won or 0.8 percent to 39,300 won.
Hyundai Motor was down 1,300 won or 1.9 percent at 67,600 won and Kia Motors down 50 won or 0.5 percent at 10,400 won. The mainboard KOSPI was down 0.5 percent.
Fears are mounting that key steel makers could jack up product prices to reflect higher cost of raw materials, including iron ore and coal.
POSCO and Nippon Steel said Monday that they have agreed to a 65 percent increase in iron ore contract prices with Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, which will set a global benchmark. Starting April 1, the steel makers will pay 78.88 US dollars a ton for iron ore.
Source: Thomson Financial