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Win Streak May Finally End For South Korea Shares

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in 12 straight sessions, advancing almost 115 points or 5.1 percent in that span. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,245-point plateau although investors may finally decide to take profit on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on weak earnings news and falling crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were slightly lower and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Monday as gains from the oil companies and technology stocks were capped by weakness form the industrials and a mixed bag from the financials.

For the day, the index climbed 9.43 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 2,242.88 after trading between 2,240.29 and 2,251.22. Volume was 397 million shares worth 6.55 trillion won. There were 472 gainers and 353 decliners.

Among the actives, S-Oil soared 4.89 percent, while SK Innovation surged 4.59 percent, Shinhan Financial shed 0.33 percent, KB Financial collected 0.55 percent, Hana Financial rose 0.64 percent, Korean Air surged 6.04 percent, SK Telecom perked 0.41 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.43 percent, SK hynix spiked 2.05 percent, LG Electronics advanced 0.79 percent, LG Display gained 0.46 percent, Hyundai Motor sank 0.79 percent, Kia Motors gathered 0.12 percent, POSCO slid 0.37 percent and KEPCO was up 0.17 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Monday; they made back ground as the day progressed but still finished slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 27.53 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 26,384.77, while the NASDAQ lost 8.15 points or 0.10 percent to 7,976.01 and the S&P 500 fell 1.83 points or 0.06 percent to end at 2,905.58.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to earnings news from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C), while traders were reluctant to make significant moves ahead of more quarterly results in the coming days.

In economic news, the New York Federal Reserve reported that growth in regional manufacturing activity picked up somewhat in April but remained fairly subdued.

Crude oil futures edged lower on Monday on reports Russia and OPEC might increase production to boost their market share. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended down $0.49 or 0.8 percent at $63.40 a barrel.

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