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South Korea Bourse May Run Out Of Steam On Monday

The South Korea stock market has ticked higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering almost 15 points or 0.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,110-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on pessimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down Friday and now the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

For the day, the index rose 1.86 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 2,110.59 after trading between 2,096.23 and 2,115.43. Volume was 452 million shares worth 3.96 trillion won. There were 494 gainers and 315 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial eased 0.11 percent, while KB Financial skidded 2.21 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.76 percent, LG Electronics plummeted 5.22 percent, LG Display sank 0.57 percent, SK hynix tumbled 2.56 percent, POSCO lost 0.40 percent, SK Telecom added 0.19 percent, KEPCO climbed 1.17 percent, Hyundai Motor jumped 1.80 percent, Kia Motors climbed 1.76 percent and Hana Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower Friday, recovered as the day progressed but still ended in the red.

The Dow shed 43.88 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 26,922.12, while the NASDAQ lost 8.44 points or 0.10 percent to 8,161.79 and the S&P 500 fell 5.41 points or 0.18 percent to 2,990.41. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the NASDAQ surged 1.9 percent and the S&P rose 1.7 percent.

The early pullback followed the release of the Labor Department report showing a substantial growth in U.S. employment in June. While the data points to a rebound in the labor market, the report dampened investor hopes for a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday but saw a loss of 1.6 percent for the week as traders continued to weigh the commodity's near-term supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.51 a barrel.

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