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South Korea Bourse May Extend Winning Streak

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in two straight sessions, advancing almost 40 points or 1.9 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,240-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on easing coronavirus fears and rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the automobile producers, while the financials and technology stocks were mostly in the green.

For the day, the index climbed 15.26 points or 0.69 percent to finish at 2,238.38 after trading between 2,214.77 and 2,242.24. Volume was 623 million shares worth 6.8 trillion won. There were 415 gainers and 408 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial eased 0.13 percent, while KB Financial collected 0.93 percent, Hana Financial surged 3.50 percent, Samsung Electronics advanced 1.00 percent, Samsung SDI tumbled 1.46 percent, LG Electronics gained 1.04 percent, SK Hynix rose 0.20 percent, SK Telecom climbed 1.34 percent, Hyundai Motors spiked 2.64 percent, Kia Motors added 0.73 percent, S-Oil sank 2.02 percent and SK Innovation, POSCO and KEPCO were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks made a strong move to the upside on Wednesday, adding to the modest gains in the previous session and sending the major averages to new record closing highs.

The Dow added 275.08 points or 0.94 percent to end at 29,551.42, while the NASDAQ rose 87.02 points or 0.90 percent to 9,725.96 and the S&P 500 gained 21.70 points or 0.65 percent to 3,379.45.

The rally on Wall Street came as traders pushed stocks to new record highs despite concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak; a recent slowdown in the rate of growth in new infections has led to optimism the outbreak is being contained.

Traders also kept an eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell said the Fed is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak but also highlighted the resilience of the U.S. economy.

Despite a jump in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, crude oil prices moved up sharply on Wednesday amid expectations that OPEC will significantly cut crude production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.23 or 2.5 percent at $51.17 a barrel.

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