Most stock markets on holiday in Asia; Kospi down
BANGKOK—Major stock indexes in South Korea and Taiwan fell Monday, while most other major Asian stock markets were closed for an extended New Year's holiday.
South Korea's Kospi, which lost 11 percent of its value last year, was marginally lower at 1,825.37. Financials led the decline, Yonhap News reported, with Woori Finance Holdings losing 1.9 percent and Shinhan Financial Group dropping 2.1 percent.
The technology sector move higher, with Samsung Electronics up 1.3 percent and LG Electronics gaining 2.8 percent. Acer Inc. lost 1.4 percent.
Taiwan's TAIEX, which was also open for business Monday, fell 0.8 percent to 7,018.30. Foxconn Technology, the world's biggest contract electronics manufacturer, which makes iPads and iPhones for Apple Inc., fell 1 percent. Personal computer maker Acer Inc. shed 1.3 percent.
The Asian-Pacific region's major benchmarks, including Japan's Nikkei 225 index, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Australia's S&P ASX 200, were closed.
Last year was one that traders would prefer to forget: most Asian equity indexes closed out 2011 deeply in the red. The Nikkei in Tokyo ended the year at 8,429.45 -- its lowest closing since 1982.
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, closed Monday, endured a 21 percent loss for the year as the impact of Beijing's multibillion-dollar stimulus faded and the government tightened curbs on lending and investment to cool blistering economic growth.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished at 18,434.39 -- a precipitous slide of 19.7 percent from a year ago. Singapore's Straits Times Index took a 17.5 percent dive when it closed at 2,646.35 on Friday.
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 ended the year at 4,140.4 -- 14.5 percent lower for 2011.