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Tech Shares May Weigh On South Korea Bourse

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, advancing almost 45 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,010-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky after disappointing U.S. employment data renewed concerns for the world's largest economy, although it also sparked hope for more interest rate cuts in the near term. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

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

For the day, the index added 4.38 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 2,009.13 after trading between 2,005.88 and 2,017.20. Volume was 377 million shares worth 3.6 trillion won. There were 488 decliners and 307 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.43 percent, while KB Financial spiked 2.01 percent, Hana Financial accelerated 2.43 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.31 percent, LG Electronics lost 0.48 percent, LG Display gained 1.41 percent, SK Hynix skidded 1.33 percent, POSCO perked 0.47 percent, Samsung Heavy jumped 1.54 percent, Korea Shipbuilding soared 3.49 percent, SK Telecom rose 0.21 percent, Hyundai Motors shed 0.39 percent and Kia Motors added 0.34 percent.

The from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line Friday before closing mixed.

The Dow added 69.31 points or 0.26 percent to 26,797.46, while the NASDAQ fell 13.75 points or 0.17 percent to 8,103.07 and the S&P 500 rose 2.71points or 0.09 percent to 2,978.71. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.5 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both gained 1.8 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed the release of a closely watched Labor Department report showing weaker than expected job growth in August. But the report also said average hourly employee earnings climbed $0.11 to $28.11 in August following 9-cent gains in June and July.

Traders shrugged off comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who argued the central bank has helped keep the economy on solid ground amid the uncertainty caused by President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Despite the uncertainty cause by the trade war, Powell noted the Fed does not currently anticipate a recession since the labor market and consumer spending remain strong.

Crude oil futures moved higher on Friday after a report from Baker Hughes showed the oil rig count dropped for a third straight week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $0.22 or 0.4 percent at $56.52 a barrel.

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