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South Korea Stocks Expected To Snap Losing Streak

The South Korea stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, tumbling almost 50 points or 2 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,460-point plateau although it figures to rebound on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism the U.S. government will avoid a shutdown, and a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares and industrials, while the technology stocks came in mixed.

For the day, the index slid 12.39 or 0.50 percent to finish at 2,461.98 after trading between 2,452.40 and 2,480.85. Volume was 396 million shares worth 6.03 trillion won.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial lost 0.62 percent, while Woori Bank fell 0.63 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.44 percent, LG Electronics surged 2.78 percent, SK hynix dropped 1.94 percent, Naver jumped 1.33 percent, Hyundai Motor shed 0.31 percent, Kia Motors skidded 1.92 percent, POSCO eased 0.15 percent, Hyundai Steel plummeted 1.97 percent and Daewoo Engineering plunged 4.37 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks saw moderate strength on Thursday, although they remained beneath their recent record closing highs.

The Dow rose 70.57 points or 0.29 percent to 24,211.48, while the NASDAQ advanced 36.47 points or 0.54 percent to 6,812.84 and the S&P 500 climbed 7.71 points or 0.29 percent to 2,636.98.

The strength reflected optimism about lawmakers passing a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. However, traders continued to express uncertainty about the details of the Republican tax reform bill.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for jobless benefits in the week ended December 2. Also, the Federal Reserve said that consumer credit jumped by $20.5 billion in October, beating estimates.

Crude oil futures rebounded Thursday, as traders bet this week's decline was overdone. WTI light sweet crude oil was up 76 cents at $56.72 a barrel, having slipped from near $60 over the past few weeks.

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