(RTTNews.com) - The South Korea stock market picked up less than a single point on Friday - but that was enough to end the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than a dozen points or 0.6 percent. The KOSPI remains just above the 2,360-point plateau and it is expected to hold steady in that range again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher following support from the crude oil prices. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were flat and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The KOSPI finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the financials and industrials were offset by weakness from the technology stocks.
Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.00 percent, while Woori Bank spiked 1.77 percent, POSCO added 0.92 percent, LG Chem gained 0.54 percent, Lotte Chemical picked up 0.3 percent, Hyundai Motor climbed 1.23 percent, Kia Motors jumped 1.15 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.22 percent, LG Electronics skidded 1.37 percent, LG Display tumbled 1.97 percent and SK hynix eased 0.17 percent.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks were mixed but little changed on Friday after M&A news and a mild bump in crude oil prices.
The Dow added 24.38 points or 0.11 percent to 21,384.28, while the NASDAQ fell 13.74 points or 0.22 percent to 6,151.76 and the S&P gained 0.69 points or 0.03 percent to 2,433.15. For the week, Dow added 0.5 percent, the S&P gained 0.1 percent and the NASDAQ fell 0.9 percent.
In corporate news, Amazon ( AMZN ) agreed to buy grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) for $13.4 billion. Also, Walmart (WMT) will acquire Bonobos, Inc. for $310 million.
In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department said housing starts fell 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.092 million in May, and there was also a decline in building permits. Also, the University of Michigan said its preliminary consumer sentiment fell in June.
July WTI oil gained 28 cents or 0.6 percent to $44.74/bbl. WTI oil prices posted a weekly loss of 2.4 percent, down a fourth week in a row.
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