Little Movement Seen For South Korea Shares

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five trading days since the end of the four-day losing streak in which it had plunged almost 125 points or 4.6 percent. The KOSPI now sits just above the 2,675-point plateau and it's likely to remain rangebound again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the technology stocks, chemicals and automobile companies, while the financials fell victim to profit taking.

For the day, the index surged 52.73 points or 2.01 percent to finish at 2,675.75 after trading between 2,662.84 and 2,677.85. Volume was 319 million shares worth 10.06 trillion won. There were 610 gainers and 270 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial retreated 1.37 percent, while KB Financial declined 1.85 percent, Hana Financial tumbled 1.91 percent, Samsung Electronics soared 4.11 percent, Samsung SDI surged 3.69 percent, LG Electronics sank 0.65 percent, SK Hynix rallied 5.15 percent, Naver jumped 2.00 percent, LG Chem spiked 2.55 percent, Lotte Chemical strengthened 1.42 percent, S-Oil shed 0.65 percent, SK Innovation advanced 1.48 percent, POSCO improved 1.15 percent, SK Telecom rose 0.39 percent, KEPCO plunged 2.56 percent, Hyundai Mobis gained 2.10 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 1.20 percent and Kia Motors perked 0.26 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened mixed and flat and basically ended the same way.

The Dow shed 42.77 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 38,460.92, while the NASDAQ rose 16.11 points or 0.10 percent to close at 15,712.75 and the S&P 500 perked 1.08 points or 0.02 percent to end at 5,071.63.

A positive reaction to the latest corporate earnings news limited any downside on Wall Street, thanks to the likes of Tesla (TSLA), Texas Instruments (TXN), Visa (V) and Mattel (MAT).

Buying interest waned soon thereafter, however, with traders still worried about the outlook for interest rates ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will look for clues about the possibility of future rate cuts.

Oil prices dropped on Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for demand and on easing tensions in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down by $0.55 at $82.81 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will release preliminary Q1 figures for gross domestic product. GDP is expected to rise 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.4 percent on year after gaining 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.2 percent on year in the three months prior.

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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