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South Korea Bourse May Challenge 2,400-Poiint Mark

The South Korea stock market has tracked higher in two straight sessions, advancing almost 10 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,370-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm
Thanks to positive news from Europe, although persistent weakness in crude oil prices may cap the upside. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Monday as gains from the technology stocks and automobile producers were limited by weakness from the steel companies and financials.

For the day, the index picked up 9.07 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 2,370.90 after trading between 2,356.84 and 2,377.20. Volume was 288 million shares worth 5.35 trillion won. There were 418 decliners and 388 gainers.

Among the actives, Samsung Electronics spiked 2.15 percent, while SK hynix surged 3.80 percent, POSCO skidded 1.09 percent, Hyundai Steel plunged 2.54 percent, Hyundai Motor jumped 1.21 percent, Shinhan Financial shed 0.79 percent and Kia Motors and Woori Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks moved higher on Monday, allowing the Dow and the S&P 500 to both hit new record closing highs.

The Dow climbed 144.71 points or 0.7 percent to 21,528.99, while the NASDAQ surged 87.25 points or 1.4 percent to 6,239.01 and the S&P added 20.31 points or 0.8 percent to 2,453.46.

The buying interest on Wall Street was in reaction to political news out of Europe. Brexit negotiations with the EU have begun after Britain bowed to pressure for a formal opening to their long-awaited negotiations.

Also, French President Emmanuel Macron's party won a clear parliamentary majority in Sunday's election, giving him a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-European Union, business-friendly reform plans.

Crude oil futures fell Monday as the dollar strengthened on expectations the Federal Reserve will again raise interest rates in the next few months. WTI light sweet crude oil was down 58 cents at $44.17 a barrel.

by RTT Staff Writer

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