The South Korea stock market has finished higher now in back-to-back sessions, rising more than 30 points or 1.5 percent in the process. The KOSPI closed just above the 1,950-point plateau, and now traders are looking for a positive jolt when the market opens on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive, following the long-awaited announcement of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Fed announced a plan to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. The European markets were mixed ahead of the Fed's announcement and the U.S. bourses were sharply higher - and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.
The KOSPI finished flat on Thursday following a mixed performance from the technology stocks.
For the day, the index added 0.66 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 1,950.69 after trading between 1,938.74 and 1,955.03 on volume of 969 million shares.
Among the actives, Samsung Electronics added 0.54 percent and LG Electronics jumped 2.49 percent, while LG Display shed 1.99 percent and SK Hynix lost 1.58 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved substantially higher on Thursday in a positive reaction to the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement - in which it said it plans to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.
The Fed also announced the continuation of its "Operation Twist" program, saying that the actions taken together will increase the central bank's holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year.
Looking ahead, the Fed said it would continue its purchases of mortgage-backed securities until the outlook for the labor market improves substantially. The central bank also left interest rates at near-zero levels and said exceptionally low rates are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015.
With the focus on the Fed, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing a bigger than expected increase in weekly jobless claims. A separate report from the Labor Department showed that a substantial rebound in energy prices contributed to a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in the month of August.
The major U.S. averages were sharply higher on Thursday as the Dow jumped 206.51 points or 1.6 percent to finish at 13,539.86, while the NASDAQ surged 41.52 points or 1.3 percent to end at 3,155.83 and the S&P 500 soared 23.43 points or 1.6 percent to close at 1,459.99. With the strong gains on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in well over four years, while the NASDAQ reached a nearly twelve-year closing high.
by RTT Staff Writer
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