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  • A South Korean protester in a cow outfit holds a placard during a candlelight vigil against U.S. beef imports in front of the Seoul City Hall, South Korea, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. South Korea's opposition parties agreed Wednesday to boycott the new legislature to pressure embattled President Lee Myung-bak to renegotiate a much-criticized beef import deal with the United States. The Korean read " Oppose Import." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    U.S. and South Korean trade officials pressed ahead with negotiations that Seoul hopes will result in new limits to a recent deal to reopen South Korea's market to U.S. beef exports.

  • Truck drivers block the border in Spain with France, Tuesday, June 10, 2008. Thousands of Spanish truckers began an indefinite strike over soaring fuel costs . (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    Protests against surging fuel prices which have triggered fears of political instability and a global economic downturn expanded in Asia Tuesday, with Colombian truckers joining the wave of strikes and a South Korean labor union announcing a fresh strike scheduled for next month.

  • A South Korean protester in a cow outfit holds a placard during a candlelight vigil against U.S. beef imports in front of the Seoul City Hall, South Korea, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. South Korea's opposition parties agreed Wednesday to boycott the new legislature to pressure embattled President Lee Myung-bak to renegotiate a much-criticized beef import deal with the United States. The Korean read " Oppose Import." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    Talks between top South Korean and U.S. trade officials aimed at easing an uproar in South Korea over a deal to resume American beef imports broke down without an agreement, the two countries said on Monday. 

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    South Korean construction workers went on strike on Monday to press for cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who walked off the job last week, crippling the export-dependent country's ports.

  • South Korea said Thursday that it would send its top trade negotiator to the United States to try to revise an agreement on American beef imports that has set off weeks of demonstrations against the government of President Lee Myung-bak.

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    South Korea's central bank held interest rates steady for a 10th consecutive month on Thursday, as expected, but warned Asia's fourth-largest economy faced a bigger risk from rising inflation than a domestic slowdown.

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    HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, might consider pulling out of a $6.3 billion deal to take over South Korea's No. 6 bank, Korea Exchange Bank, its Asia chief said on Wednesday.

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    Lehman Brothers almost struck a deal with Korean financial institutions as part of raising $6 billion in capital, and may yet arrange one by the end of the year, the Financial Times reported on its website, citing people familiar with the matter.

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    The consumer across the world is under considerable pressure. Record oil prices, the credit crunch and inflationary pressures all appear to be taking their toll on people’s willingness to spend. We got some better data from the UK on Tuesday, but the trend across Europe has been weak since the turn of the year, and many of the big players are beginning to become very worried.

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    South Korean regulators said on Thursday Intel had abused its dominant position in the local market and ordered the world's top semiconductor maker to pay a fine of about $26 million.

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    South Korea's foreign reserves posted their second-biggest loss in a decade in May, data showed on Tuesday, after dealers reported authorities dumped some $2.5 billion during the month to prop up the local currency.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    Asian markets edged up Friday, led by exporters in Japan, as fears of a deep U.S. recession receded, but gains were capped by worries that inflation will cut into growth and lead to higher borrowing costs.

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    South Korea's current account surplus hit a three-year high in April as exports grew faster than imports, central bank data showed on Friday, helping push the won up sharply to a fresh 3-week high against the dollar.

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    Asian markets rallied Thursday with Japanese shares making their biggest daily gain in amonth, after a monthly gauge of U.S. business spending rose to its highest this year. Tokyo closed 3 percent higher, but China's main index slumped.  

  • Asian markets were mostly lower Wednesday, as a cloudy U.S. economic outlook and lingering inflation fears left investors skittish. Australia, Japan and South Korea all closed over 1 percent lower.

  • A stockbroker watches his terminal during trading in Bombay, India, Thursday, May 18, 2006. Indian shares plunged Thursday, with the benchmark stock index tumbling 6.8 percent, or more than 800 points, its biggest point drop ever, largely on fears of higher taxes on foreign funds that invest in Indian stocks. (AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude)

    Asian markets rebounded Tuesday from the previous session's dip, as bargain hunters scoured the market after five days of losses. Both Japan and South Korea finished over 1% higher.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Asian stocks retreated into negative territory Monday, with most markets down more than 1% on fears that slowing U.S. consumer demand will hurt Asia's export-oriented economies. Japan shed 2.3% while South Korea slipped 1.5%.

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    Asian markets were mixed Friday following a pullback in oil prices. A stronger U.S. dollar lifted some exporters in the region. Japan managed to close slightly higher but Australia shed 1 percent, weighed down by declining resource stocks.

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    Asian markets pared back earlier losses Thursday to give a mix performance, though prospects of higher inflation and a weak U.S. economy kept investors cautious. Japan and Australia both managed to close in positive territory.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    Asian stocks were sharply lower Wednesday as fears about consumer demand in the face of high oil prices rattled investors. Japan closed 1.6% lower while Australia shed 1.4%.