Last week, President Trump’s “fire and fury” comments triggered a slump in Korea’s benchmark KOSPI index, with shares falling 3.2%, the most in more than a year.
As Hyungjun Kim writes for Bloomberg this week, Korean institutions weren’t so concerned with the heightened tensions as they continued to buy stocks.
According to Kim, citing Bloomberg data, foreign investors sold US$775 million worth of shares in the index last week, while domestic individuals sold US$284 million. At the same time Korean institutions bought US$975 million.
Were institutions being complacent, patriotic or savvy? Judging from the pattern of bluster from both Trump and Kim Jong-un, they were simply aware of the obvious.