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South Korea Shares May Be Stuck In Neutral

Ahead of Tuesday's holiday for Hangeul Day, the South Korea stock market had finished lower in six straight sessions, sliding more than 100 points or 4.4 percent along the way. Now at a seven-week low, the KOSPI rests just beneath the 2,255-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is unclear, with concerns over the outlook for interest rates offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Monday following losses from the oil and industrial companies, while the financials and technology stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index sank 13.69 points or 0.60 percent to finish at the daily low of 2,253.83 after peaking at 2,273.71. Volume was 210 million shares worth 4.36 trillion won. There were 586 decliners and 250 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial fell 0.65 percent, while KB Financial shed 0.36 percent, Woori Bank collected 0.60 percent, Hana Financial dipped 0.54 percent, Hyundai Motor tumbled 2.01 percent, Kia Motors lost 0.88 percent, POSCO declined 2.69 percent, KEPCO plunged 2.95 percent, SK Innovation skidded 2.90 percent, S-Oil dropped 2.56 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.56 percent, LG Electronics plummeted 3.83 percent, SK hynix climbed 1.28 percent and LG Display slid 0.54 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks fluctuated on Tuesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed for the second straight day.

The Dow shed 56.21 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 26,430.57, while the NASDAQ added 2.07 points or 0.03 percent to 7,738.02 and the S&P fell 4.09 points or 0.14 percent to 2,880.34.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders kept an eye on treasuries amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates. With the bond markets re-opening after Monday's Columbus Day holiday, treasury yields turned lower after an initial move higher.

Traders shrugged off news that the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for U.S. and Chinese economic growth, citing the "negative effect of recent tariff actions."

Crude oil prices moved up on Tuesday amid reports of falling crude exports from Iran ahead of the U.S. sanctions against the country. Crude oil futures for November delivery ended up $0.67 or 0.9 percent at $74.96 a barrel.

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