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South Korea Bourse May Be Stuck In Neutral On Wednesday

The South Korea stock market on Tuesday wrote a finish to the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 30 points or 1.5 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,175-point plateau and it's likely to remain in that neighborhood again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement ahead of the FOMC interest rate decision later today. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares, support from the telecoms and a mixed picture from the technology stocks.

For the day, the index eased 1.87 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 2,177.62 after trading between 2,171.05 and 2,183.76. Volume was 314 million shares worth 3.8 trillion won. There were 450 decliners and 359 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.34 percent, while KB Financial lost 0.57 percent, Hana Financial fell 0.26 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.46 percent, LG Electronics tumbled 2.69 percent, LG Display skidded 1.91 percent, SK hynix rose 0.29 percent, POSCO perked 0.58 percent, SK Telecom gained 0.40 percent, KEPCO plunged 2.90 percent and Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages shook off an early spike Tuesday and finished roughly flat.

The Dow shed 26.72 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 25,887.38, while the NASDAQ added 9.47 points or 0.12 percent to 7,723.95 and the S&P 500 fell 0.37 points or 0.01 percent to 2,832.57.

The early strength on Wall Street partly reflected continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks, although that ebbed on reports that China is pushing back against American demands.

Traders were also reluctant to make big moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later today. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, although the accompanying statement may provide clues about the outlook for rates.

Crude oil futures settled marginally lower on Tuesday, as traders weighed the supply and demand situation in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.06 or 0.1 percent at $59.03 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea will release February figures for producer prices later this morning; in January, prices were down 0.2 percent on month and up 0.2 percent on year.

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