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South Korea Stocks May Extend Thursday's Losses

The South Korea stock market ticked lower again on Thursday, one day after it had snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had surrendered more than a dozen points or 0.5 percent. The KOSPI remains just above the 2,550-point plateau and it may take further damage on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is weak, thanks mainly to concerns over U.S> tax reform - although a bump in crude oil prices should limit the downside. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Thursday following mixed performances from the financials, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index eased 1.83 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 2,550.57 after trading between 2,536.54 and 2,559.93. Volume was 287.2 million shares worth 6.85 trillion won. There were 473 gainers and 322 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.41 percent, while Woori Bank climbed 1.60 percent, Samsung Electronics lost 0.72 percent, SK hynix dropped 0.96 percent, LG Electronics spiked 3.90 percent, LG Display jumped 2.57 percent, LG Chem skidded 1.22 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.32 percent, Kia Motors advanced 1.45 percent, POSCO added 0.79 percent and Hyundai Steel fell 0.52 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks climbed off their worst levels but still ended Thursday trade firmly in the red - pulling back from record closing highs in the previous session.

The Dow shed 101.42 points or 0.43 percent to 23,461.94, while the NASDAQ lost 39.06 points or 0.58 percent to 6,750.05 and the S&P 500 fell 9.76 points or 0.38 percent to 2,584.62.

The weakness came as traders reacted to reports of the Senate version of tax reform legislation. The proposed bill has several key differences with the House version, including a delay in cutting in the corporate tax rate.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 4. Also, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose 0.3 percent in September, matching estimates.

Crude oil futures continued to rise Thursday despite reports tempering expectation for further supply cuts from OPEC. WTI light sweet crude oil rose 35 cents to $57.16 a barrel after Wednesday's decline.

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