(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market on Wednesday ended the two-day slide in which it had plummeted almost 80 points or 3.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,335-point plateau although it's expected to open under pressure again on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft with technology stocks expected to continue their roller coaster ride, this time to the downside. A rising number of coronavirus cases adds to the negative sentiment. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The KOSPI finished barely higher on Wednesday as gains from the technology stocks were offset by weakness from the oil companies and mixed performances from the financials and chemicals.
For the day, the index added 0.65 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 2,333.24 after trading between 2,287.44 and 2,354.46. Volume was 725 million shares worth 13.4 trillion won. There were 439 decliners and 388 gainers.
Among the actives, KB Financial collected 0.27 percent, while Hana Financial eased 0.18 percent, Samsung Electronics gained 0.69 percent, LG Electronics accelerated 2.59 percent, SK Hynix soared 2.83 percent, Samsung SDI tanked 2.24 percent, LG Chem skidded 1.41 percent, Lotte Chemical surged 1.98 percent, S-Oil lost 0.58 percent, SK Innovation plunged 1.99 percent, POSCO perked 0.26 percent, SK Telecom tumbled 1.89 percent, KEPCO sank 0.74 percent, Kia Motors retreated 0.65 percent and Hyundai Motors and Shinhan Financial were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks moved sharply lower on Wednesday, wiping out gains from the previous session as the markets fell to a one-month closing low.
The Dow tumbled 525.05 points or 1.92 percent to finish at 26,763.13, while the NASDAQ plummeted 330.65 points or 3.02 percent to end at 10,632.99 and the S&P 500 dropped 78.65 points or 2.37 percent to close at 3,236.92.
The sell-off on Wall Street came amid renewed weakness among technology stocks, as reflected by the particularly steep drop by the tech-heavy NASDAQ. Big-name tech companies like Netflix (NFLX), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) all showed significant moves to the downside.
Concerns about surging coronavirus cases in certain parts of the world may also have weighed on the markets even as President Donald Trump indicated the U.S. would not follow the U.K.'s lead and implement a second round of lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, continuing to testify before Congress for the second day, said the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve both need to "stay with it" in working to bolster the economic recovery.
Crude oil futures settled higher Wednesday after data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. But the upside was capped by worries about the energy demand outlook amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for November ended higher by $0.13 or 0.3 percent at $39.93 a barrel.
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