South Korea Bourse Overdue For Consolidation

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market has finished higher in seven straight sessions, gathering more than 80 points or 3.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,210-point plateau although investors are likely to lock in gains on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with expected profit taking likely offset by a jump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were little changed and the Asian markets are predicted to follow that lead.

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

For the day, the index picked up 0.99 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 2,210.60 after trading between 2,202.49 and 2,217.87. Volume was 335.88 million shares worth 4.55 trillion won. There were 428 gainers and 397 decliners.

Among the actives, KB Financial fell 0.66 percent, while Hana Financial collected 0.13 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.43 percent, LG Electronics added 0.79 percent, LG Display spiked 1.72 percent, SK hynix skidded 1.39 percent, SK Telecom dipped 0.41 percent, KEPCO rose 0.68 percent, Hyundai Motor climbed 1.59 percent, Kia Motors soared 3.45 percent, POSCO perked 0.55 percent, Korean Air Lines jumped 1.88 percent and Shinhan Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is inconclusive as stocks opened lower on Monday before recovering later in the day to finish mixed and little changed.

The Dow shed 83.97 points or 0.32 percent to 26,341.02, while the NASDAQ added 15.19 points or 0.19 percent to 7,953.88 and the S&P 500 rose 3.03 points or 0.10 percent to 2,895.77.

Profit taking contributed to the early weakness on Wall Street following recent strength as lingering concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth inspired traders to cash in on recent gains.

However, traders seemed reluctant to make big moves ahead of earnings season, with financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) due to report quarterly results on Friday.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods fell slightly less than expected in February.

Crude oil prices ended higher Monday, amid escalating conflicts in Libya, along with OPEC-led production cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $1.32 or 2.1 percent at 64.40 a barrel, a five-month high.
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