Bargain Hunting Expected To Lift South Korea Shares

( - The South Korea stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, tumbling almost 35 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,030-point plateau although it figures to stage a recovery on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive, thanks to a spike in crude oil prices and bargain hunting after heavy losses earlier this week. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourse were sharply higher - and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Wednesday following losses from the financials, industrials and technology stocks.

For the day, the index plunged 27.00 points or 1.31 percent to finish at 2,028.01 after trading between 2,014.28 and 2,037.83. Volume was 314 million shares worth 5.33 trillion won. There were 724 decliners and 128 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial retreated 2.30 percent, while KB Financial declined 1.95 percent, Woori Bank was down 1.22 percent, Hana Financial slid 1.84 percent, SK Telecom contracted 2.54 percent, Samsung Electronics skidded 1.16 percent, LG Electronics fell 0.81 percent, SK hynix shed 0.50 percent, Naver plunged 3.25 percent, KEPCO lost 1.06 percent, Hyundai Motor tumbled 2.44 percent, Kia Motors dipped 0.30 percent and POSCO dropped 1.61 percent.

Following the sell-off in recent sessions, stocks rebound sharply on Wednesday, extending gains heading into the close.

The Dow soared 1,086.25 points or 4.98 percent to 22,878.45, while the NASDAQ surged 361.44 points or 5.84 percent to 6,554.35 and the S&P 500 jumped 116.60 points or 4.96 percent to 2,467.70.

Bargain hunting contributed to the rally on Wall Street, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels after recent weakness dragged the major averages to their lowest closing levels in over a year.

Positive sentiment may have been generated by members of President Donald Trump's administration continuing to downplay reports the president has privately discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Meanwhile, the partial government continues, with Trump stating the government will not reopen until Democrats agree to fund his controversial border wall.

Crude oil prices rose sharply amid thin deals on Wednesday, rebounding from an 18-month low on Christmas Eve. Crude oil futures for February surged $4.69 or 8.6 percent to $46.22 a barrel.

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