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South Korea Bourse May Be Stuck In Neutral On Thursday

The South Korea stock market has moved higher in five straight sessions, climbing more than 60 points or 3 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,145-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless amid a lack of catalysts as investors look for concrete details in a possible trade agreement between the United States and China. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished barely higher on Wednesday as losses from the financials and industrials weighed on the broader market.

For the day, the index added 1.51 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 2,144.15 after trading between 2,138.83 and 2,156.23. Volume was 403 million shares worth 5.5 trillion won. There were 461 gainers and 350 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial eased 0.12 percent, while KB Financial tumbled 1.59 percent, Hana Financial sank 0.84 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.14 percent, LG Electronics gained 0.59 percent, Samsung SDI declined 1.28 percent, SK Hynix skidded 1.88 percent, POSCO dropped 0.91 percent, SK Telecom fell 0.21 percent, S-Oil lost 1.87 percent, KEPCO skyrocketed 6.14 percent, Hyundai Motors retreated 1.20 percent and Kia Motors slid 0.23 percent.

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

The Dow eased 0.07 points to end at 27,492.56, while the NASDAQ fell 24.05 points or 0.29 percent to 8,410.63 and the S&P rose 2.16 points or 0.07 percent to 3,076.78.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after the recent run to record highs.

Optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal contributed to the strength on Wall Street, but traders now seem to be looking for more concrete developments - limiting the upside.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said labor productivity in the U.S. unexpectedly edged lower in the third quarter.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, after data showed a larger than expected increase in crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.88 or 1.5 percent at $56.35 a barrel.

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