South Korea Shares May Extend Friday's Losses

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market headed south again on Friday, one day after ending the four-day losing streak in which it had plunged almost 125 points or 4.6 percent. The KOSPI now sits just above the 2,590-point plateau and it's expected to open under water again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets in negative, with continued pressure likely on the technology shares. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index stumbled 42.84 points or 1.63 percent to finish at 2,591.86 after trading between 2,553.55 and 2,609.90. Volume was 799 million shares worth 13.85 trillion won. There were 629 decliners and 238 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial fell 0.36 percent, while KB Financial shed 0.47 percent, Hana Financial dropped 2.06 percent, Samsung Electronics stumbled 2.51 percent, Samsung SDI lost 1.11 percent, LG Electronics was down 1.51 percent , SK Hynix plunged 4.94 percent, Naver advanced 0.94 percent, LG Chem slumped 2.11 percent, Lotte Chemical surrendered 2.89 percent, S-Oil jumped 1.86 percent, SK Innovation declined 2.26 percent, POSCO sank 0.90 percent, SK Telecom skidded 1.18 percent, KEPCO retreated 1.23 percent, Hyundai Mobis eased 0.21 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 1.73 percent and Kia Motors slumped 1.60 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is conflicted as the Dow opened higher on Friday and stayed that way, while the S&P and NASDAQ spent the entire session under water.

The Dow rallied 211.00 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 37,986.40, while the NASDAQ tumbled 319.49 points or 2.05 percent to end at 15,282.01 and the S&P 500 sank 43.89 points or 0.88 percent to close at 4,967.23.

For the week, the NASDAQ plummeted 5.5 percent, the S&P tumbled 3.1 percent and the Dow rose 0.1 percent.

The steep drop by the NASDAQ reflected heavy selling among shares of Netflix (NFLX) and AI darling Nvidia (NVDA). Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index dove by 4.1 percent to its lowest closing level since early February.

Banking stocks turned in a strong performance, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 2.9 percent. Interest rate-sensitive utilities stocks also moved notably higher amid a pullback by treasury yields, resulting in a 1.8 percent jump by the Dow Jones Utility Average.

Oil prices moved higher on Friday as geopolitical tensions rose following Israel's retaliatory attack on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $0.41 at $83.14 a barrel, although WTI crude futures shed about 3 percent in the week.

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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