South Korea Shares May Head South Again On Monday

( - The South Korea stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last six trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 40 points or 2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,060-point plateau and it's likely to see renewed selling pressure again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft as there appears to be no end in sight for the U.S. government shutdown. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were sharply lower and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the financials ad automobile producers were offset by weakness from the industrials and construction companies. The technology stocks came in mixed.

For the day, the index added 1.37 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 2,061.49 after trading between 2,049.76 and 2,061.51. Volume was 304.92 million shares worth 5.38 trillion won. There were 445 decliners and 381 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial climbed 1.35 percent, while KB Financial collected 0.20 percent, Woori Bank jumped 1.54 percent, Hana Financial gained 0.66 percent, SK Telecom advanced 1.10 percent, Samsung Electronics was unchanged, SK hynix spiked 2.39 percent, LG Electronics dipped 0.32 percent, LG Display eased 0.28 percent, POSCO skidded 2.40 percent, KEPCO tumbled 2.62 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.82 percent and Kia Motors was up 0.15 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks moved sharply lower on Friday ahead of a government shutdown that now seems likely to last at least through Christmas.

The Dow shed 414.23 points or 1.81 percent to 22,445.37, while the NASDAQ plummeted 195.41 points or 2.99 percent to 6,332.99 and the S&P 500 fell 50.80 points or 2.06 percent to 2,416.62. For the week, the NASDAQ nosedived 8.4 percent, the S&P lost 7.1 percent and the Dow fell 6.9 percent.

The extended sell-off on Wall Street came as traders kept an eye on developments on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers at an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump's controversial wall on the border with Mexico.

Traders largely shrugged off mixed economic data on durable goods orders, third quarter GDP, personal income and spending and consumer sentiment.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday, extending losses from previous session amid concerns over excess supply in the market. Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.29 or 0.6 percent at $45.59 a barrel, the lowest settlement since July 2017.

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