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South Korea Bourse Called Higher Again On Thursday

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, gathering almost 25 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,200-point plateau and it's got another green light on Thursday's trade.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains upbeat on optimism that another U.S. government shutdown can be avoided. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financial shares and chemical companies were capped by weakness from the automobile producers.

For the day, the index gained 11.01 points or 0.50 percent to finish at 2,201.48 after trading between 2,194.75 and 2,203.71. Volume was 416.94 million shares worth 5.50 trillion won. There were 559 gainers and 267 decliners.

Among the actives, Lotte Chemical surged 5.80 percent, while LG Chem jumped 1.75 percent, Woori Financial tumbled 1.92 percent, Shinhan Financial spiked 2.12 percent, KB Financial advanced 1.43 percent, Hana Financial accelerated 2.01 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.33 percent, LG Electronics perked 0.28 percent, Naver climbed 1.21 percent, KEPCO eased 0.15 percent, Hyundai Motor plunged 3.11 percent, Kia Motors plummeted 3.38 percent and SK Telecom was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks saw considerable volatility on Wednesday but still finished in the green as the major averages hit fresh two-month closing highs.

The Dow added 117.51 points or 0.46 percent to 25,543.27, while the NASDAQ gained 5.76 points or 0.08 percent to 7,420.38 and the S&P 500 rose 8.30 points or 0.30 percent to 2,753.03.

The higher close on Wall Street partly reflected optimism about avoiding another government shutdown thanks to a tentative deal reached by lawmakers.

The markets also benefited from continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks after reports the U.S. may delay raising tariffs on Chinese goods if the two sides are close to a deal.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices were unchanged for the third straight month in January.

Crude oil extended gains Wednesday, reflecting optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and the cut in production revealed by Saudi Arabia. Crude for March delivery advanced $0.80 to $53.90 a barrel.

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