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Additional Support Predicted For South Korea Bourse

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing almost 35 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,085-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on continued optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were firmly higher and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and automobile producers.

For the day, the index collected 6.08 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 2,086.66 after trading between 2,077.35 and 2,090.43. Volume was 398 million shares worth 3.71 trillion won. There were 460 gainers and 347 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.56 percent, while KB Financial climbed 1.15 percent, Hana Financial advanced 0.84 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.22 percent, LG Electronics was up 0.28 percent, LG Display accelerated 1.49 percent, Samsung SDI surged 3.03 percent, SK hynix dropped 1.06 percent, SK Telecom soared 2.16 percent, KEPCO gathered 0.59 percent, Hyundai Motor gained 0.36 percent, Kia Motors rose 0.35 percent and Naver and POSCO were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher Friday and remained in the green as the major averages extended recent gains and set fresh record closing highs.

The Dow added 243.95 points or 0.90 percent to 27,332.03, while the NASDAQ gained 48.10 points or 0.59 percent to 8,244.14 and the S&P 500 rose 13.86 points or 0.46 percent to 3,013.77. For the week, the Dow surged 1.5 percent, the NASDAQ climbed 1 percent and the S&P rose 0.8 percent.

The markets continued to benefit from renewed optimism about the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates as soon as its next meeting later this month following comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as traders brace for the unofficial start of earnings season this week.

Crude oil futures ended flat on Friday as traders weighed near term prospects for energy demand and supply. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended at $60.21 a barrel, up just a penny over previous close. or the week, oil futures gained about 4.7 percent.

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