Plus   Neg

South Korea Market May Snap Losing Streak

The South Korea stock market has finished lower now in four straight trading days, falling almost 30 points or 1.5 percent in that span. The KOSPI settled just below the 1,940-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting a mild rebound at the opening of trade on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat, thanks to bargain hunting after heavy losses in the previous session - as well as support from the technology stocks. The tech bump comes from computer giant Dell, which agreed to be acquired by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. The European and U.S. markets ended higher and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the technology stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index dipped 15.03 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 1,938.18 after trading between 1,928.75 and 1,944.00. Volume was 362 million shares worth 3.7 trillion won.

Among the decliners, Samsung Electronics eased 0.1 percent, while Hyundai Mobis shed 0.5 percent, SK Hynix dropped 2.5 percent, POSCO fell 1.5 percent, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) plunged 2.7 percent and LG Chem dipped 1.5 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks showed a strong move back to the upside on Tuesday, after moving sharply lower in the previous session. The gains nearly offset Monday's losses, although the major averages remained below last Friday's closing highs.

The Institute for Supply Management showed that activity in the U.S. service sector continued to expand in January, although the pace of growth slowed from a month earlier. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index edged down to 55.2 in January from a revised 55.7 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector.

News on the merger-and-acquisition front also contributed to the rebound by stocks, with Dell (DELL) moving to the upside after the computer giant agreed to be acquired by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. Dell said the terms of the agreement call for its shareholders to receive $13.65 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, resulting in a transaction valued at approximately $24.4 billion.

Additionally, shares of Virgin Media (VMED) moved sharply higher after the British cable company confirmed that it is in talks with John Malone's Liberty Global (LBTYA) regarding a possible takeover. Virgin Media surged 17.9 percent on the day.

The major U.S. averages rebounded on Tuesday as the Dow rose 99.22 points or 0.7 percent to finish at 13,979.30, while the NASDAQ jumped 40.41 points or 1.3 percent to close at 3,171.58 and the S&P 500 surged 15.58 points or 1 percent to end at 1,511.29.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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