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South Korea Bourse May Hand Back Monday's Gains

The South Korea stock market on Monday snapped the two-day slide in which it had dropped more than 50 points or 2.5 percent. The KOSPI remains just above the 2,020-point plateau although it may see renewed selling pressure on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, thanks to ongoing concerns regarding the trade spat between the United States and China. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Monday following mild upside from the automobile producers and mixed performances from the financial shares and the technology stocks.

For the day, the index rose 1.04 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 2,021.73 after trading between 2,016.19 and 2,034.94. Volume was 317 million shares worth 3.3 trillion won. There were 532 decliners and 288 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.37 percent, while KB Financial dropped 0.96 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.52 percent, LG Electronics soared 4.52 percent, LG Chem tumbled 2.36 percent, Samsung SDI and POSCO both perked 0.46 percent, SK Telecom lost 0.64 percent, KEPCO rose 0.20 percent, Hyundai Motors climbed 1.19 percent, Kia Motors was up 0.23 percent and Hana Financial, LG Display and SK Hynix were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks showed a lack or direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing in the red.

The Dow shed 95.70 points or 0.36 percent to 26,478.02, while the NASDAQ lost 26.18 points or 0.33 percent to 7,956.29 and the S&P 500 fell 13.22 points or 0.45 percent to 2,938.79.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make large moves ahead of Thursday's high-level trade talks in Washington. Chinese officials are signaling they're increasingly reluctant to agree to the broad trade deal being pursued by President Donald Trump.

The negotiations come as the trade war continues to hang over the economy, with a survey by the National Association for Business Economics showing 53 percent of economists see trade policy as the key downside risk to the economy.

Crude oil futures failed to hold early gains and ended slightly weak on Monday, despite data that showed a drop in OPEC output in September. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.06 at $52.75 a barrel after peaking at $54.06 earlier in the day.

Closer to home, South Korea will release August figures for current account later this morning; in July, the current account surplus was $6.95 billion.

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