South Korea Bourse May Hand Back Friday's Gains

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market on Friday snapped the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 25 points or 1.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,095-point plateau although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on geopolitical concerns and the ever-changing outlook for interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and chemical companies.

For the day, the index jumped 27.81 points or 1.35 percent to finish at 2,094.36 after trading between 2,076.51 and 2,096.73. Volume was 386 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won. There were 661 gainers and 183 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial rose 1.22 percent, while KB Financial gained 1.11 percent, Hana Financial collected 1.55 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.52 percent, LG Electronics soared 2.17 percent, LG Display was up 0.30 percent, SK hynix spiked 2.81 percent, POSCO perked 1.07 percent, SK Telecom shed 0.39 percent, KEPCO jumped 1.37 percent, LG Chem gathered 1.54 percent and Lotte Chemical advanced 1.44 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Friday but fell into the red as the day progressed and finished in negative territory.

The Dow shed 68.80 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 27,154.20, while the NASDAQ lost 60.75 points or 0.74 percent to 8,146.49 and the S&P 500 fell 18.50 points or 0.62 percent to 2,976.61. For the week, the Dow lost 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both dropped 1.2 percent.

The initial strength in Wall Street followed upbeat earnings news from Microsoft (MSFT), as the software giant reported fiscal Q4 results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Buying interest waned however, when the New York Federal Reserve tried to walk back comments President John Williams made Thursday that seemed to endorse a near-term interest rate cut.

Crude oil prices moved up Friday on rising tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.63 a barrel. For the week, crude oil futures lost more than 7 percent on demand concerns.
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