South Korea Shares May Turn Lower Again On Monday

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 45 points or 2.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,075-point plateau although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on profit taking and a drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Friday following mixed performances from the financial shares and technology stocks.

For the day, the index collected 12.29 points or 0.60 percent to finish at 2,075.57 after trading between 2,063.99 and 2,076.99. Volume was 372.53 million shares worth 4.48 trillion won. There were 534 gainers and 294 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial added 0.26 percent, while KB Financial lost 0.33 percent, Hana Financial collected 0.71 percent, Samsung Electronics jumped 1.76 percent, LG Electronics gained 0.61 percent, LG Display picked up 0.76 percent, SK hynix shed 0.31 percent, SK Telecom tumbled 2.77 percent, POSCO skidded 1.16 percent, KEPCO gained 0.73 percent, Kia Motors dropped 1.02 percent and Hyundai Motor and Woori Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is slightly soft as stocks opened lower on Friday, staged a recovery in the afternoon but still finished barely in the red.

The Dow shed 5.97 points or 0.02 percent to 23,995.95, while the NASDAQ lost 14.59 points or 0.21 percent to 6,971.48 and the S&P 500 fell 0.38 points or 0.01 percent to 2,596.26. For the week, the Dow added 2.4 percent, the NASDAQ added 3.5 percent and the S&P rose 2.5 percent.

The early weakness on Wall Street was due to profit taking, with traders cashing in on gains from the five-day winning streak. Concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and skepticism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China also weighed.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight drop in consumer prices in December, while core consumer priced ticked slightly higher.

Crude oil futures ended lower Friday, snapping a nine-day winning streak as profit taking and worries about the slowing Chinese economy weighed on the commodity. Crude oil futures ended down $1.00 or 1.9 percent at $51.59 a barrel.
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