The South Korea stock market on Friday snapped the modest two-day winning streak in which it had risen more than 25 points or 1.3 percent. The KOSPI finished just above the 1,945-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting renewed if mild upside at the opening of trade on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a hint of upside thanks to better than expected consumer sentiment data from the United States, as well as some upbeat corporate earnings news as the season winds down. The European and U.S. markets finished with mild upside, and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.
The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the technology stocks.
For the day, the index dipped 11.37 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 1,946.54 after trading between 1,941.79 and 1,964.07. Volume was 368.3 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won. There were 406 decliners and 390 gainers.
Among the decliners, Samsung Electronics shed 3.72 percent, while LG Electronics fell 2.42 percent, Korea Aerospace Industries dropped 3.09 percent and Korean Air lost 2.68 percent.
Moving higher, LG Display climbed 2.47 percent, while SK Innovation jumped 1.47 percent and Kumho Tire spiked 3.63 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks ended Friday's trading with modest gains, extending a recent advance. A choppy session ended with some momentum going into the close. Better-than-expected economic news solidified market sentiment and allowed the major averages to continue their recent upward drift.
Stocks bounced around through much of the session, with the major averages spending some time in negative territory. The NASDAQ was able to gain ground following the mid-morning. The Dow and S&P 500 held closer to the unchanged mark. Shares received some additional buying interest headed into the close. This allowed the major averages to post modest gains on the session.
Investors were cheered by some positive data on consumer sentiment. Consumer attitudes have improved in August, according to a closely watched survey, rising to their highest level in three months. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index advanced to 73.6 for the month, up from a reading of 72.3 in July. The result topped the figure predicted by economists.
In corporate news, retailer Gap (GPS) revealed earnings for the second quarter that rose 29 percent from last year and topped the amount analysts had predicted. The company also raised its forecast.
Ann Inc. (ANN) was another retailer that posted gains on the session. The owner of the Ann Taylor chain of women's clothing stores beat expectations with its quarterly profit and issued a strong outlook. Shares of Ann climbed $5.75, or 20.4 percent, to close at $33.89.
The major U.S. averages were slightly higher on Friday as the Dow gained 25.09 points, or 0.19 percent, to finish at 13,275.20. The NASDAQ rose 14.20 points, or 0.46 percent, to end at 3,076.59. The S&P 500, which posted its sixth consecutive week of gains, gained 2.65, or 0.19 percent to close at 1,418.16.
by RTT Staff Writer
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