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Win Streak May End For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, advancing almost 55 points or 2.7 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,020-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless, with trade uncertainties offset by rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the financials, weakness from the automobile producers and airlines and a mixed picture from the technology stocks.

For the day, the index rose 10.42 points or 0.52 percent to finish at 2,019.55 after trading between 2,013.28 and 2,029.80. Volume was 503 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won. There were 508 decliners and 320 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial rose 0.12 percent, while KB Financial jumped 1.48 percent, Hana Financial advanced 1.19 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.30 percent, LG Electronics skidded 1.13 percent, LG Display lost 0.70 percent, SK Hynix spiked 2.93 percent, Korean Air shed 0.44 percent, Asiana Airlines sank 0.73 percent, POSCO perked 0.93 percent, Hyundai Motors fell 0.39 percent, Kia Motors tumbled 1.26 percent and SK Telecom and KEPCO were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The Dow added 38.05 points or 0.14 percent to 26,835.51, while the NASDAQ lost 15.64 points or 0.19 percent to 8,087.44 and the S&P 500 fell 0.28 points or 0.01 percent to 2,978.43.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid a light day on the U.S. economic front, with a lack of major data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Traders expressed some optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates on Thursday. Expectations for another interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, riding comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to support output cuts by OPEC and other producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.33 or 2.4 percent at $57.85 a barrel.

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