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South Korea Stock Market May Find Traction On Monday

The South Korea stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, tumbling more than 50 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,020-point plateau although it's expected to stop the bleeding on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on renewed optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower again on Friday as losses from the financial shares and industrial issues were tempered by a mixed performance from the technology stocks.

For the day, the index lost 11.22 points or 0.55 percent to finish at the daily low of 2,020.69 after peaking at 2,039.43. Volume was 394 million shares worth 3.81 trillion won. There were 666 decliners and 157 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial tumbled 1.68 percent, while KB Financial shed 0.48 percent, Hana Financial lost 0.73 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.84 percent, LG Electronics rose 0.15 percent, LG Display fell 0.74 percent, SK Hynix advanced 1.01 percent, Naver plunged 4.14 percent, Samsung SDI and POSCO both sank 0.91 percent, SK Telecom dipped 0.21 percent, KEPCO dropped 0.79 percent, Hyundai Motor skidded 1.56 percent and Kia Motors plummeted 3.50 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved higher again on Friday, extending gains from the previous session.

The Dow jumped 372.68 points or 1.42 percent to 26,573.72, while the NASDAQ rose 110.21 points or 1.40 percent to 7,982.47 and the S&P climbed 41.38 points or 1.42 percent to 2,952.01. For the week, the Dow shed 0.9 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.5 percent and the S&P fell 0.3 percent.

The rally on Wall Street followed Friday's Labor Department report that showed weaker than expected job growth but an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate to a nearly 50-year low. The mixed data served the dual purpose of reinforcing expectations the Federal Reserve will continue cutting interest rates while at the same offsetting concerns about a potential recession.

Stocks saw further upside in afternoon trading after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described the U.S. economy as "in a good place" and said it is the central bank's job to "keep it there as long as possible."

Crude oil prices moved higher Friday and snapped an eight-session losing streak after decent jobs data from the U.S. Labor Department eased concerns about growth in the U.S. economy and the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.36 or 0.7 percent at $52.81 a barrel.

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