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South Korea Bourse May Spin Its Wheels On Thursday

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market rebounded on Wednesday, one day after it had ended the modest two-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost four points or 0.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,235-point plateau and it figures to remain rangebound again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation, with concerns over trade offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the Asian markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the automobile producers and mixed performances from the financials and technology stocks.

For the day, the index picked up 8.19 points or 0.37 percent to finish at 2,234.79 after trading between 2,228.16 and 2,237.77. Volume was 296 million shares worth 4.82 trillion won. There were 498 gainers and 323 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.58 percent, while KB Financial skidded 1.22 percent, Hana Financial declined 1.16 percent, SK hynix tumbled 1.99 percent, LG Electronics spiked 2.41 percent, Hyundai Motor surged 5.31 percent, Kia Motors jumped 1.51 percent, SK Telecom advanced 1.35 percent, KEPCO rose 0.43 percent, POSCO plunged 2.74 percent, Hyundai Steel shed 0.58 percent and Samsung Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is slightly soft as stocks showed a lack of direction on Wednesday, lingering near the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The Dow lost 72.82 points or 0.28 percent to finish at 25,985.16, the NASDAQ rose 5.21 points or 0.07 percent to 7,554.51 and the S&P 500 fell 1.52 points or 0.05 percent to 2,792.38.

Early weakness followed remarks from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, which offset recent optimism about the U.S.-China trade talks. He told the House Ways and Means Committee that China needs to go beyond pledging to buy more U.S. goods to reach to a long-term trade agreement.

Selling pressure waned as the day progressed, however, as traders kept an eye on Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, looking for more concrete signs of progress toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales rebounded more than expected in January. Also, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods rose less than anticipated in December.

Crude oil futures rose sharply on Wednesday, buoyed by data showing a significant drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $1.44 or 2.6 percent at $56.94 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea will wrap up its monetary policy meeting this morning and then announce its decision on interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1.75 percent.

South Korea also will see January numbers for industrial production and retail sales. In December, industrial production sank 1.4 percent on month and gained 1.6 percent on year, while retail sales added 0.8 percent on month and 3.0 percent on year.
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