The South Korea stock market has closed lower now in consecutive trading days, falling almost a dozen points or 0.6 percent in the process. The KOSPI finished just above the 1,945-point plateau, and now investors are looking for another barely lower open and quiet session when the market kicks off trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a hint of weakness, thanks to ongoing credit concerns in Europe. Germany's central bank on Monday reiterated its opposition to the European Central Bank's plan to purchase government bonds. Also, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to meet some of the leaders of the currency bloc this week to request an extension of its fiscal consolidation program. The European and U.S. markets were barely lower, and the Asian bourses may follow suit.
The KOSPI finished flat on Monday as losses from the automobile producers were offset by a mixed performance from the technology stocks.
For the day, the index eased 0.23 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 1,946.31 after trading between 1,938.25 and 1,949.89. Volume was 353.45 million shares worth 3.79 trillion won.
Among the actives, Hyundai Heavy Industries jumped 2.2 percent, POSCO climbed 1 percent, Samsung Life Insurance added 0.1 percent and SK Hynix collected 0.2 percent, while Hyundai Motor lost 1.4 percent, LG Chem fell 1.4 percent, SK Innovation dipped 1.2 percent and Samsung Electronics shed 0.9 percent.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks moved back to the upside on Monday after moving moderately lower in early trade, ending nearly flat. A relatively light day on both the corporate and economic news fronts contributed to the lackluster performance, as did profit taking.
The pullback came after the Dow ended the previous session at its best closing level in over three months. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 reached four-month closing highs last Friday.
Disappointing quarterly results from Lowe's (LOW) also generated some negative sentiment, with the home improvement retailer reporting Q2 earnings of $0.64 per share on sales of $14.3 billion, while analysts had expected earnings of $0.70 per share on sales of $14.5 billion. The company also lowered its full-year earnings guidance.
Selling pressure waned not long after the open, as traders seemed somewhat reluctant to sell stocks and miss out of any further upside for the markets. Stocks subsequently climbed well off their worst levels, although buying interest also remained subdued, leading to the roughly flat close.
Among individual stocks, shares of Coventry Health Care (CVH) moved sharply higher after the health insurer agreed to be acquired by rival Aetna (AET) in a transaction valued at $7.3 billion, including the assumption of Coventry debt.
The major U.S. averages ended Monday almost unchanged, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. The Dow dipped 3.56 points to finish at 13,271.64, while the NASDAQ edged down 0.38 points to end at 3,076.21 and the S&P 500 inched down 0.03 points to close at 1,418.13.
by RTT Staff Writer
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