South Korea Shares May Remain Stuck In Neutral On Monday

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market on Friday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 25 points or 1 percent. The KOSPI now sits just beneath the 2,725-point plateau and it may continue to spin its wheels on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with profit taking likely to cap any upside. The European markets were soft and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Friday, thanks to profit taking among the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index skidded 28.38 points or 1.03 percent to finish at the daily low of 2,724.62 after trading as high as 2,752.17. Volume was 561.1 million shares worth 10.3 trillion won. There were 574 decliners and 305 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial dropped 0.93 percent, while KB Financial slumped 1.11 percent, Hana Financial sank 0.79 percent, Samsung Electronics skidded 1.02 percent, Samsung SDI tanked 2.38 percent, LG Electronics was down 0.91 percent, SK Hynix retreated 1.61 percent, Naver shed 0.64 percent, LG Chem surrendered 1.49 percent, Lotte Chemical surged 4.47 percent, S-Oil lost 1.01 percent, SK Innovation plunged 1.82 percent, POSCO weakened 1.12 percent, SK Telecom fell 0.38 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.87 percent, Hyundai Motor declined 1.21 percent, Kia Motors tumbled 1.74 percent and Hyundai Mobis was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened mixed and fairly flat and finished much the same.

The Dow climbed 134.19 points or 0.34 percent to finish at a record 40,003.59, while the NASDAQ slipped 12.33 points or 0.07 percent to close at 16,685.97 and the S&P 500 rose 6.17 points or 0.12 percent to end at 5,303.27.

For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.1 percent, while the S&P 500 jumped 1.5 percent and the Dow shot up 1.2 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves as they digest recent strength in the markets, which saw the major averages reach new record highs.

In economic news, the Conference Board noted a continued decrease by its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of April.

Oil prices rose on Friday amid easing inflation, data showing a drop in inventories, and hopes of interest rate cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June climbed to $80.06 a barrel, gaining $0.79 or more than 1 percent. WTI crude futures gained 2.3 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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