Stock Market

South Korea Stock Market May Extend Wednesday’s Gains

(RTTNews) – The South Korea stock market on Wednesday halted the four-day losing streak in which it had plunged more than 110 points or 4.8 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,255-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on easing concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials, although the oil companies remained soft.

For the day, the index spiked 37.30 points or 1.68 percent to finish at 2,255.98 after trading between 2,198.82 and 2,260.06. Volume was 405.6 million shares worth 6.4 trillion won. There were 651 gainers and 224 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial spiked 4.00 percent, while KB Financial collected 2.96 percent, Hana Financial surged 5.04 percent, Samsung Electronics soared 4.33 percent, LG Electronics rallied 4.67 percent, SK Hynix skyrocketed 7.14 percent, Naver gained 2.24 percent, Lotte Chemical plunged 2.86 percent, S-Oil tumbled 2.84 percent, SK Innovation sank 0.66 percent, POSCO perked 0.92 percent, SK Telecom improved 0.85 percent, KEPCO rose 0.26 percent, Hyundai Mobis added 0.50 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 0.94 percent, Kia Motors lost 0.64 percent and LG Chem was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as the major averages shook off early weakness on Wednesday, moved firmly higher midday and ended solidly in the green.

The Dow jumped 133.40 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 33,269.77, while the NASDAQ climbed 71.78 points or 0.69 percent to close at 10,458.76 and the S&P 500 gained 28.83 points or 0.75 percent to end at 3,852.97.

The volatility on the day came as traders awaited and subsequently reacted to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December monetary policy, which reinforced expectations the central bank is likely to continuing raising interest rates.

The minutes reiterated that officials continue to anticipate that ongoing rate increases would be appropriate – although perhaps slower – to achieve the Fed’s dual objectives of maximum employment and price stability.

On the U.S. economic front, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing U.S. manufacturing activity contracted at a slightly faster rate in the month of December.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, extending recent losses as worries about energy demand amid rising fears of a global recession continued to weigh on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $4.09 or 5.3 percent at $72.84 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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