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Little Movement Expected For South Korea Shares

The South Korea stock market on Thursday snapped the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 35 points or 1.7 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 1,950-point plateau and it's likely to spin its wheels on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech later today at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Thursday following weakness from the technology stocks and industrials, while the financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index sank 13.64 points or 0.69 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,951.01 after peaking at 1,967.96. Volume was 427 million shares worth 4 trillion won. There were 521 decliners and 301 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.50 percent, while KB Financial lost 0.38 percent, Hana Financial and LG Electronics both eased 0.16 percent, Samsung SDI plummeted 3.21 percent, Samsung Electronics dropped 1.01 percent, SK Hynix tumbled 2.64 percent, POSCO shed 0.71 percent, SK Telecom fell 0.21 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.78 percent, Hyundai Motors skidded 1.20 percent, Kia Motors sank 1.76 percent and LG Display was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Thursday and showed a lack of direction before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 49.51 points or 0.19 percent to 26,252.24, while the NASDAQ lost 28.82 points or 0.36 percent to 7,991.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.48 points or 0.05 percent to 2,922.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid another inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the two-year note briefly dropping below the yield on the ten-year note after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide much clarity about the outlook for interest rates.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected last week. Also, the Conference Board said its leading U.S. economic indicators rose by much more than anticipated in July.

Crude oil prices edged lower Thursday on concerns about the outlook for near-term energy demand due to a slowing global economy. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.35 a barrel.

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