Victek Co. led gains among South Korean defense-related stocks in Seoul trading on speculation North Korea conducted a nuclear test today.
Victek, a maker of electronic warfare equipment, jumped 11 percent to 2,415 won as of 1:13 p.m. on the Korea Exchange, its biggest intraday gain since Feb. 4. Firstec Co., a maker of components for helicopters and armored vehicles, rose 10 percent, while Speco Co. added 12 percent.
North Korea likely conducted its third nuclear test today, a South Korean government official said, escalating tensions with an international community that has sought to curb the totalitarian state’s atomic ambitions. The U.S. Geological Survey said it recorded a 4.9-magnitude quake in North Korea.
“The news drove defense stocks nicely up,” Kim Gi Bo, a Seoul-based fund manager at Friend Investment Management, said today. “But in many cases, it’s irrelevant to the companies’ earnings so investors should be cautious in making investments.”
North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. South and North Korea technically remain at war after their 1950-1953 conflict ended without a peace treaty.
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