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South Korea Bourse May Extend Winning Streak

The winning streak has reached four sessions now for the South Korea stock market, which has expanded almost 60 points or 2.4 percent in that span. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,485-point plateau and it's looking at another green light for Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to economic optimism and a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were higher and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Wednesday following gains from the industrial issues and technology stocks, while the financials and automobile producers came in mixed.

For the day, the index picked up 6.70 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 2,486.35 after trading between 2,481.91 and 2,493.40. Volume was 327 million shares worth 6 trillion won. There were 408 decliners and 401 gainers.

Among the actives, Daewoo Shipbuilding skyrocketed 12.05 percent, while Hyundai Heavy soared 8.84 percent, Shinhan Financial advanced 1.11 percent, Woori Bank shed 0.63 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.18 percent, SK hynix jumped 1.44 percent, Naver skidded 1.58 percent, POSCO surged 5.46 percent, Hyundai Steel spiked 2.62 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.67 percent and Kia Motors lost 0.61 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Wednesday, adding to gains from the previous session as the major averages hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow rose 98.67 points or 0.40 percent to 24,922.68, while the NASDAQ advanced 58.63 points or 0.84 percent to 7,065.53 and the S&P climbed 17.25 points or 0.64 percent to 2,713.06.

The continued strength on Wall Street came as upbeat data added to recent optimism about the economic outlook.

The Institute for Supply Management said growth in manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in December, while the Commerce Department noted a bigger than expected increase in construction spending in November.

Stocks remained positive following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting - which showed that most participants reiterated their support for continuing a gradual approach to raising interest rates.

Meanwhile, the Fed said it raised its economic projections due to the massive tax reform bill passed by Republicans and signed by President Donald Trump.

Crude oil futures continued to soar Wednesday thanks to the threat of supply disruptions from the Middle East and a weaker dollar. WTI light sweet crude oil was up $1.26 or 2.1 percent to $61.63/bbl, the highest since December 2014.

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