SINGAPORE – South Korean stocks fell Friday morning trading in Asia-Pacific markets, with stocks in companies affiliated with the Samsung conglomerate falling after the company’s heir was released from prison.
In Friday morning trading, shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 3.25% while Samsung C&T fell 1.48%. Samsung Life Insurance was down almost 1% and Samsung SDS was down 1.4%.
Those losses came after Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, was released from prison on Friday. The South Korean Ministry of Justice announced earlier this week that he has qualified for parole.
The broader Kospi in South Korea lost 1.61%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.17% while the Topix index traded 0.1% higher.
In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.49% as investors watched the coronavirus situation.
MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.43%.
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Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street climbed 14.88 points to 35,499.85, while the S&P 500 rose about 0.3% to 4,460.83. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.35% to 14,816.26.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, came in at 92.995 – above the level below 92.9 it hit earlier this week.
The Japanese yen was trading at 110.39 per dollar, below the 110.20 levels seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7334, away from levels above $ 0.736 seen at the start of the trading week.
Oil prices were lower on the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude oil futures falling 0.53% to $ 70.94 a barrel. US crude oil futures lost 0.56% to $ 68.7 a barrel.