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South Korea Shares May Extend Tuesday’s Gains

The South Korea stock market on Tuesday snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had slipped almost 20 points or 0.8 percent. The KOSPI now sits just above the 2,520-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were mixed and little changed and the U.S. bourses were slightly higher and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

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

For the day, the index climbed 26.10 points or 1.05 percent to finish at 2,521.76 after trading between 2,502.26 and 2,522.45. Volume was 435.8 million shares worth 8.59 trillion won. There were 457 gainers and 417 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.68 percent, while Hana Financial perked 0.12 percent, Samsung Electronics spiked 1.96 percent, Samsung SDI rose 0.33 percent, LG Electronics rallied 0.38 percent, SK Hynix added 0.54 percent, Naver improved 0.73 percent, LG Chem shed 0.40 percent, Lotte Chemical increased 0.70 percent, S-Oil lost 0.43 percent, SK Innovation advanced 0.93 percent, POSCO rallied 2.14 percent, SK Telecom was up 0.19 percent, KEPCO eased 0.11 percent, Hyundai Mobis gathered 0.65 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 0.43 percent, Kia Motors gained 0.59 percent and KB Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as the major averages opened lower on Tuesday and spent much of the day bouncing back and forth across the line before ending modestly higher.

The Dow gained 83.51 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 35,416.98, while the NASDAQ added 40.73 points or 0.29 percent to close at 14,281.76 and the S&P 500 rose 4.46 points or 0.10 percent to end at 4,554.89.

The choppy performance on Wall Street was the result of conflicting commentary regarding interest rates from Federal Reserve governors Christopher Waller and Michelle Bowman.

Speaking at an American Enterprise Institute event, Waller said he is “increasingly confident that policy is currently well positioned to slow the economy and get inflation back to 2 percent.”

But then Bowman said during a Utah Bankers Association and Salt Lake Chamber breakfast that she continues to expect the Fed we will need to increase rates further to keep policy sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to 2 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Tuesday on hopes that OPEC will extend output cuts at Thursday’s ministerial meeting. A weak dollar contributed as well to the jump in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $1.55 or 2.1 percent at $76.41 a barrel.

Source : Nasdaq