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South Korea Stock Market May Extend Friday's Gains

The South Korea on Friday halted the three-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 30 points or 1.5 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,080-point plateau and it's looking at another green light again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on solid economic data and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index jumped 21.11 points or 1.02 percent to finish at 2,081.85 after trading between 2,070.17 and 2,084.44. Volume was 433 million shares worth 4.04 trillion won. There were 596 winners and 240 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.81 percent, while KB Financial added 0.75 percent, Hana Financial rose 0.14 percent, Samsung Electronics spiked 1.82 percent, LG Electronics climbed 0.29 percent, Samsung SDI jumped 1.58 percent, SK Hynix soared 2.28 percent, POSCO perked 0.66 percent, SK Telecom was up 0.21 percent, KEPCO gained 0.52 percent, Hyundai Motors picked up 0.42 percent and Kia Motors gathered 0.11 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks moved sharply higher on Friday as the major averages extended recent gains.

The Dow jumped 337.26 points or 1.22 percent to 28,015.06, while the NASDAQ climbed 85.83 points or 1.00 percent to 8,656.53 and the S&P 500 rose 28.48 points or 0.91 percent to 3,145.91. For the week, the Dow and NASDAQ fell 0.1 percent and the S&P added 0.2 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in November - while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Adding to the positive sentiment, preliminary data released by the University of Michigan showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in December.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on further output curbs. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77 or 1.3 percent at $59.20 a barrel, the highest settlement since September 17.

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