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Continued Consolidation Called For South Korea Shares

The South Korea stock market on Thursday wrote a finish to the two-day winning streak in which it had collected almost 40 points or 1.9 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,230-point plateau and it may take further damage on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index lost 5.24 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 2,232.96 after trading between 2,230.30 and 2,255.49. Volume was 629 million shares worth 7.96 trillion won. There were 581 decliners and 258 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial skidded 1.43 percent, while KB Financial retreated 1.72 percent, Hana Financial plunged 3.38 percent, Samsung Electronics rose 0.33 percent, LG Electronics sank 1.18 percent, Samsung SDI slid 0.44 percent, SK Hynix spiked 2.00 percent, POSCO shed 0.45 percent, SK Telecom advanced 0.88 percent, KEPCO fell 0.58 percent, Hyundai Motors tumbled 2.21 percent and Kia Motors dropped 0.96 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened lower on Thursday, rebounded as the day progressed but then fell into the red towards the end of the session.

The Dow shed 128.11 points or 0.43 percent to end at 29,423.31, while the NASDAQ fell 13.99 points or 0.14 percent to 9,711.97 and the S&P 500 shed 5.51 points or 0.16 percent to 3,373.94.

Profit taking contributed to initial weakness on Wall Street, as some traders looked to cash in on recent gains amid news of a jump in new coronavirus cases.

The early weakness on Wall Street was subsequently seen as another buying opportunity for some traders even as a number of companies continue to warn about the impact of the outbreak.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a modest increase in consumer prices in January, as well as a smaller than expected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Thursday despite lingering concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.25 or 0.5 percent at $51.42 a barrel.

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