Markets

South Korea Bourse May Ride Tech Shares Higher

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, advancing almost 90 points or 3.6 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,365-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher, nudged into the green by gains in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow suit.

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

For the day, the index advanced 36.90 points or 1.58 percent to finish at 2,366.73 after trading between 2,340.97 and 2,369.78. Volume was 760 million shares worth 13.4 trillion won. There were 783 gainers and 95 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial spiked 2.28 percent, while KB Financial collected 2.71 percent, Hana Financial soared 3.16 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.53 percent, LG Electronics fell 0.29 percent, SK Hynix jumped 1.99 percent, LG Chem was up 1.57 percent, Lotte Chemical gained 2.63 percent, S-Oil jumped 3.11 percent, SK Innovation skyrocketed 7.21 percent, POSCO perked 0.75 percent, SK Telecom rallied 2.27 percent, KEPCO surged 5.26 percent, Hyundai Motors accelerated 3.49 percent and Kia Motors tumbled 1.63 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved higher on Tuesday, although the Dow eventually slipped into the red while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow shed 60.02 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 28,248.44, while the NASDAQ added 86.75 points or 0.76 percent to end at 11,466.47 and the S&P 500 rose 12.34 points or 0.36 percent to close at 3,443.62.

The drop by the Dow came as Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon (RTX) and Pfizer (PFE) tumbled on the news they're being removed from the blue chip index. Those three stocks will be replaced by Salesforce.com (CRM), Honeywell (HON), and Amgen (AMGN), which rallied.

Traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday. Analysts suggest Powell will signal an increased tolerance for higher inflation, with some predicting he will call for a shift to average inflation targeting rather than the long-standing 2 percent target.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a bigger than expected spike in new home sales last month - while a separate report from the Conference Board showed its consumer confidence index slumped again in August.

Oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, fueled by storm-driven production cuts on the U.S. Gulf Coast as traders look ahead to weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 73 cents or 1.7 to $43.35 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea said this morning that business conditions in the manufacturing sector improved in August with an unadjusted Business Survey Index score of 66 - up from 59 in July. The outlook index climbed to 68 from 61 in the previous month. Seasonally adjusted, the index and outlook both were at 68.

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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