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Shipping slides across Asia's bourses

Singapore: Shipping stocks across Asia took a battering in morning trading today as oil prices nudged up and up. Hurricane Gustav ripping through the Gulf of Mexico and the declining Baltic Dry Index were seen as the primary reasons for shipping's decline. In Tokyo Mitsui OSK Lines shed 3.3% by lunch time, Kawasaki Kisen slumped 4.0% and Nippon Yusen dropped 2.9%.
In Singapore meanwhile shares in Neptune Orient Lines fell nearly 4 percent to S$2.17 in morning trade while shares of Cosco Corp (Singapore) slumped 3 percent to S$2.23.
In Seoul the drops were larger still. Hanjin Shipping Co., the largest South Korean shipping line, dropped 8.8 percent to 25,550 won. The sudden decline of the Korean won also hit the nation's yards hard.
Shipbuilders, who expected the won to rise this year and bought forward currency contracts to hedge their dollar- denominated orders, declined on concern the unanticipated depreciation will increase non-operating losses. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., the world's third-largest maker of ships, slid 8.4 percent to 32,000 won, the lowest since March 19. Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the second largest, lost 4.9 percent to 29,800, the lowest since March 24.  [01/09/08]

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